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Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Every day when I'm watering the yard I cheese somebody off. Two or three days ago it was a sparrow that I rousted out of the honeysuckle. Oh, the commotion caused by that little incident! You should have heard the ruckus. You'd think I'd sunk the Titanic or something.

Today it was a snake. This was the fourth snake I've seen since I moved here, but the first that was actually in my garden, just outside the front door. The others were all in the driveway. Two were already smashed dead, and the third was slithering quickly down a gopher hole, afraid I was about to roll over it with the trash can.

This snake today was another gopher snake, I think, a slim little beastie who had camped out under the heavenly bamboo near where I've been pointlessly digging for the last two weeks. I didn't see it before I sprayed it, but that probably wouldn't have stopped me. Definitely wouldn't have. I bear snakes no malice, but the garden must be watered. If you have to soak a few reptiles along the way, it's the price you must pay.

Every time I walk out the door, several lizards scatter to the four corners. I have to watch where I walk to avoid stepping on them. Every so often one will get inside the house, and it takes patience and luck to capture them and restore them to the garden before they hide so successfully that I later find them all dried up behind a bookcase.

And when I water, there's a flurry of activity all around me, from the lizards scampering out of the way. I once found one drowned in a bucket, and now I'm careful to overturn all buckets when they're not in use. Lizards have enough to worry about as it is, without my adding to their danger level.

The snake found its way to safety under a bush that protected it from the falling shower. It might have crawled down a hole, but that wouldn't have been the wisest decision under those circumstances. I can't be sure what happened to it, because it chose to stay out of sight, at least until after I turned off the water and came back in the house.

I'm watering nearly every day now, so I'll be terrorizing the wildlife on a regular basis throughout the summer. If only they knew it was for their own good. The trees and grasses they like so much wouldn't be so lush and green without my help. They should thank me.

3 June 03

Overturned bucket on a fence post.

One side benefit for the birds is that I only refill the feeder when I water. That's because I also use the hose to power wash the bird droppings off the porch. It's more effective than scrubbing with a brush, and a lot less hands-on, so it suits me to do it that way. Since the feeder needs to be filled every other day now, if I miss a day of watering the effects are felt far and wide. Oh, don't they come back in a hurry once I've restocked it, though!

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I was out chopping cotton and my brother was baling hay.