Monday, August 3, 2015

High Desert Garden Hazards

As if decomposed granite soil, drought, ground squirrels, blazing sun, and wind weren't enough of a challenge to my gardening skills, now I am on high alert for more deadly critters.  We have live on the side of the Sandia mountains now for seven years with only a friendly tarantula making occasional treks across the gardens.  On my return from an extended time (almost five months!) in Colorado helping my daughter, Alethea, while she was on mandatory bed rest for two months before the birth of her twins, afterwards while she recovered from a C-section, and then Norm and I did some traveling.  Apparently the lack of traffic at our isolated house was noted by.....
Yes, indeed that would be the noisy end of a rattlesnake, first noticed by my brother-in-law, Larry because the cat was cautiously stalking this intriguing looking tail. 

Sati assiduously keeps the rock gardens clear of mice and lizards...

 so I was not surprised at her interest, but fortunately some innate caution kept her from attacking.

My husband wisely threw pebbles at Sati to chase her away and then despite the protests of my niece, Shan, and myself, he ran for the IPad to photograph this unexpected visitor.  

 Rattle up, but never used!  Very calm, complacent snake.  However, if it had tried to rattle, I understand the recent rains may have dampened it's sound.  This snake was very fat, so if it had been eating in our gardens, we expect no problem with mice trying to get into the house for the winter!  It slithered off to parts unknown, and we are praying that it was just "passing through."  Wonder if any of my friends will be brave enough to visit now?  Norm took a video, but I have not been able to successfully upload it.  Maybe a too slow internet connection?

Still despite the hazards, my gardens manage to survive...

And for those of you that are close friends, here is a photo of the twins...

The newest twins, Alex on the left, Connor on the right, Eliza, their sister in the middle, and the six year old twin cousins, Caroline on the left, Sara on the right.
Two of my three daughters have had twins!  The third daughter is thinking that being an auntie is a fine choice!

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