Believe it or not, we are still moving! It isn't just a matter of moving a farm across the state, it's building the pens, building the stalls, and adding field fencing to existing barbed wire fences. It's trying to find space for a lifetime of accumulated "stuff" that simply will not fit in the new house. It's juggling 7 dogs without the appropriate outside kennels. Yes, you can just turn them loose outside - during the day. At night, you better confine the dogs because like the freakin' Zombie Apocalypse, the damned copperheads come slithering out of hiding as the sun creeps down.
We got two in one night. I caught the above one actually coming inside the barn, slithering into my dog kennel - and I beat him to death with a bush ax. (Momma don't play around her dogs!) Other Half actually stepped on a copperhead one morning. It got away by hiding in a roll of field fencing. He altered his plans that day to include mowing everything close to the house. (Think "prairie dog hill" folks, PRAIRIE DOG HILL!" Short grass doesn't keep them from coming close, but it does let you see them.
Which, unfortunately for the snake, leads to their demise. I'd actually leave them alone if it wasn't for the dogs, but I worry about losing a dog to a copperhead bite. That said, Dillon and Mesa dug out of their kennel one night while Other Half was puttering inside. He said they were only alone for about 20 minutes (Manspeak Translation: at LEAST an hour and 20 minutes) They had been out long enough to go down to the pond and take a swim, explore through all manner of bushes containing sticker burrs and briars, and meet me at the main gate when I came driving up in the dark. Friends, watching your dogs gallop up in the dark is both a welcome and a troubling sight.
They were loose at Prime Time Copperhead Hour - The Witching Hour, in the Prime Time Copperhead Location, and yet, both dogs emerged unharmed. Apparently the snakes in this area are not that aggressive. (except for the rattlesnake that did bite Dillon a few years ago) And given the choice, I'd rather have the copperheads than the rattlesnakes. They are easier to spot, and they aren't as poisonous. And they clearly aren't as quick to pull the trigger.
To answer your questions before you ask, (See, I'm learning!) No, Briar isn't up here yet. She is still with the boy goats down south in the care of a neighbor, but I shall inform her that she has a very strong fanbase. No, I haven't brought the girl goats and sheep home yet. They are still with Dear Friends Kim & Clyde who should be nominated for sainthood by now. No, I haven't picked up the Anatolian puppies yet. They are still babies and should be ready for our ranch when we are ready to take them.
Briar fans will be delighted to hear that my new veternarian is a goat person who has a livestock guardian puppy that looks JUST LIKE BRIAR! When he told me about her, he said,
"Go look in the back kennels (in the clinic) and see that ugly shaggy dog. That's it."
I poked my head back there and sure enough, it was a baby briar! I quickly whipped out my cell phone to show him pictures of what his little gem would grow to become.
That said, I guess I need to get off the computer and start putting up more field fence in the mesquite patch to make a day pen for the bucks. Ta-ta!