I thought I'd get around to somehow getting the squirrel to move out by covering in the squirrel hole or protecting the vegetables better, but so much to do and so little time.
Then of course the dentist decided that I needed a crown, no, actually two crowns, and not the kind Elizabeth wears. I got the "estimate" in the mail last week and that will blow one month's entire budget for food, utilities, gas, internet, auto loan and incidentals. OK, but dental health is important, so we'll "bite the bullet" and pay for it.
Then the kitchen sink drain backed up. Liquid plumber didn't work. A neighbor tried clearing it out with a 25-foot snake (remember this). I thought it was clear and did laundry...which backed up into the kitchen sink. Emailed (of course) one plumbing company on Saturday for an estimate. They called this morning, Monday, with an appointment time for today and mentioned that there was a "travel charge" of $135. I told them that was outrageous, that I could drive to Albuquerque and pick up the plumber and return him for a lot less than that, and to just forget it. I asked if this was RotoRooter calling and she said no, it was a plumbing company - the one I'd emailed for an estimate, but never made an actual appointment...my momentary confusion lifted and told her I had already made an appointment with Rotor-Rooter. So RotorRooter showed up as promised (a $50 travel charge) plus labor and tax it came to $430. But at least the drain was clear.
So, after the guy left I said to Leon (his day off) I am going to make an omelet for a late breakfast. Let's see, eggs; ham; provolone cheese. Some veggie would be nice. I have Swiss chard in the garden. That will be good in an omelet. So I go out to the deck and down the stairs that lead into the back yard and I hear this hissing sound like a hose spouting water. The plumber just left, but he had cleared the drain, didn't touch the water pipes. Oh, Leon is washing the truck...but... he's using the hose from the front yard spigot...
I look back under the stairs where the hoses run from the house to the garden soaker, looking for a water spout. Dry.
But the hissing sound gets louder and different. And I see something moving....a tail, a rattle...a...oh, shit...
|This is 15 minutes later when Snaky has calmed down
I yelled (OK, so I yelled and used some expletives) for Leon to make sure the dog didn't come outside. I was in the backyard which is fenced in on all sides except for a gate out to the arroyo. Had to go through the arroyo and around to the road to walk back home. Called two of the town's "snake guys" but no answer. Called town hall and was told that Justin, the town maintenance guy, who is from Louisiana, would come and take care of it.
But by the time Justin got to the house - about half an hour after my first encounter and about 10 to 15 minutes after I took the pictures (from a safe distance up on the deck) the monster rattle snake had gone.
Where? We haven't a clue. Justin searched the entire yard and under the deck.
I had just been telling Leon the other day that I've been more comfortable this summer and not as paranoid about rattlesnakes. I've been letting Benni the dog run with the other dogs and I've not been in a constant state of anxiety when out walking with him. I was kind of feeling that our backyard was not rattler territory, that we had a pretty much safe haven.
I let my guard down.
The big rattlesnake under the deck stairs was looking fat around the middle and even though pissed and rattling loudly, didn't move right away. Perhaps he was digesting breakfast. For some reason I think the ground squirrel is no longer a problem.
But, as Rosanne Rosannadana would say, "If it ain't one thing, it's another."
I'm not nearly as freaked out by coyotes, although there are warning signs (read the whole sign):