Sunday, July 9, 2017


OK, so it wasn't 115 of course, but after the car sat in the sun for a bit, this showed as the outside temperature.  Our "feels like" though was about 107 (at 5pm).  So very hot.  I mowed.  I planted a tree.  I weeded a bit.  I cleared out the parts of the garden that were done for the season and that was it.  I couldn't do anything else in this heat and humidity.

When I started to water, I saw this!  Tell me the sight of this won't send a momentary shiver down your spine?  This is the shed skin of a snake!  Click the picture to enlarge.  This is one entire skin from tail to  the head, complete with the eye holes.  Crazy!  Even crazier to realize it was going under the house. 

I did find another apple tree at the garden center ($10) so I went ahead and planted it.  This is an "Anna" apple tree and she's a bit smaller than the "Dorsett Golden" I planted three weekends ago but still strong and healthy.  I soaked them all with water and 2nd Family will water as needed during the week if we don't get rain.  All the trees are going strong.  The plum, peach and pear trees have done amazingly well and have probably grown about a foot taller since I planted them.  We are both very excited to watch them all grow.  Fingers crossed.  

Oh and did I say spiders?  Yeah there were spiders in the garden.  This is the good kind, "garden spider" or "banana spider".  They are OK to leave to do their thing.  But I said spiderS, plural...yeah, then there was this...

...and not just one.  
Not two.  
But three.  
I killed THREE black widow spiders in the garden.  Sorry I had to kill them but I just can't leave something there that could potentially kill us or at least cause major bodily harm.  Ugh.  They are beautiful in a creepy, deadly kind of way.

By the end of the day, there were storm clouds building (this is view as we drive down the driveway toward the road).  Did it rain at the farm?  Nope, went around the area and missed us.  Did it rain in town?  Yep about an inch in an hour. 

Today there are more scattered storms.  It's the time of year where I really only do what is minimally required at the farm.  That's usually mowing and edging, whatever needs to be done in the garden (update on that tomorrow), and weeding the flowerbeds.  Planting the tree didn't leave me the energy to edge, I have to pick my battles, ha, so I'll have to work that in next weekend.  

Hope you're having a great weekend!


jaz@octoberfarm said...

you never have to worry about me coming to visit you at the farm! i say no to black widows!

Rain said...

EEgads 1st Man...I actually got the heebie jeebies looking at those spider photos! I'm NOT a fan of anything that can crawl around quickly like that and then hide. I guess that goes for snakes too. I hope you don't have any in the house!!! Shiver!!! I'm so envious of your fruit trees!!!

anne marie in philly said...

yep, kill those black widows! and the snake skin is COOL!

Connie said...

Snake skins shed by the house and black widow spiders . . . not among the things we list as the pleasures of gardening. The cloud formation in your last photo is beautiful and your farm is thriving :) Oh, the joys of country living make up for the few scares . . . I would have killed those spiders, too. You can't take the chance of getting bit.
Happy gardening.
Connie :)

donna baker said...

That was a King Snake skin or Farmer's Friend. They eat lots of rodents. Black widows would worry me. Especially 3 of them. You can only receive anti-venom one time for their bite. I probably would be fogging the garden and around and under the house. I cannot move when it is hot and humid so you sound like a super hero doing all that work. One of my friends that lives in the Wichita Mountain National Park has snakes in her house. She's been catching them with glue traps. Snakes don't bother me, but I have had to kill a few water moccasins.

Jimmy said...

Snakes love mulch!

Elephant's Child said...

I am fine on the spider front. Snakes I have difficulty with. And heat. Don't do too much.

Colleen said...

No doubt about it; It Is Hot. So hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs.
Snakes, spiders; No Thank You. Hopefully that snake didn't find it's way into the house. Would totally freak me out. A mouse will even freak me out let alone a snake.

My pepper plants are growing like crazy; picking some everyday; several bags in the freezer that I'm going have to do something with but think I will can them up come this Fall when it cools down some but I just might make some of them refrigerated Bread and Butter Jalapeno pickles.
Stay out of the heat and stay cool

Linda said...

Snakes mean less mice!

Mike said...

Gee, I was kidding the other week when you were showing the new hose reel and being careful so not to grab the snake instead of the hose! If me, I would hire a snake trapper/expert to survey the area and remove any potential habitat areas under the house. (2nd man can crawl under the house and remove any possible nests! Ha!
As for the Black Widows, it's time to use some serious chemical warfare on them.

Practical Parsimony said...

You know if there are three, there are many more black widows! That is serious, and they can get in the house come winter. Yikes

Practical Parsimony said...

Also, watch your storage area now and winter. They like to get into your gloves, hide in all equipment. Babies are pale yellow or white. Get some mice sticky strips to catch them indoors.

Texas Rose said...

Yes, it sure was hot and humid today - again. I went out for awhile this morning and then came in for the rest of the day. You are an Iron Man for doing all that work in this heat! And then you had to deal with snakes, spiders, and more spiders!
So glad to hear that your fruit trees are doing well and growing.
I love your picture of the rain cloud near the Farm. Hoping we get some rain soon.

Colleen said...

Texas Heat

You know that you are in Texas when:
The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
Hot water now comes out of both taps.
You can make instant sun tea.
You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a bit chilly.
You discover that in July it takes only two fingers to drive your car.
You discover that you can get sunburn through your car window.
You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
You break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 am before work.
No one would dream of not having air conditioning.
Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is: 'What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?'
You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
The potatoes cook underground and all you have to do to have lunch is to pull one out and add butter, salt, and pepper.
Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hardboiled eggs.
Cows are giving evaporated milk.
The trees are whistlin' for the dogs.
A sad Texan prayed once: 'I wish it would rain - not so much for me, cuz I've seen it, but for my 7-year-old.'

1st Man said...

Not sure if Iron Man or stupid, ha. But we have to do what we do with the time we are given. And I'm only given 2 days a week. In this heat I really have to just rest the day after or I'll never make it to work on Monday, ha.

Do you know it barely rained the last two days at the farm? 2nd Family said it was barely measurable and so hot it just steamed up and went away. Sigh. In Houston it POURED.

You be careful out in this heat!!!

1st Man said...

Yep, I remembered your words about the hose reel and caaaarefully opened it up, all clear. The spiders, yeah I need to find something to use since they are around the raised beds. Need something that takes care of them but doesn't hurt the plants or put chemicals all over. Time to research!!!

1st Man said...

Oh I know. I am very careful with what I do and where I reach for things. Never go without gloves either.

1st Man said...

Thanks, I've gotten to keeping the gloves in a jar. And will look for the babies. Where there is one there are likely 100. Ugh.

1st Man said...

Yes, this is definitely true. I'll be ok with that. They do their thing and we'll leave them alone.

1st Man said...

Thank you great idea. And OMG those are HILARIOUS!!!! Sigh, that is SO Texas right now!1 LOVE IT!!!!

1st Man said...

Isn't that funny, some people don't like snakes but are ok with spiders and vice versa. I keep a healthy distance with both. Well, I kill the black widows, just can't chance it. I did a lot but I rested Sunday. Inside. Where it's cool. ;-)

1st Man said...

Sigh. Thanks for this. I think? HA!!!!

1st Man said...

LOL! Scorpions. Spiders. Snakes. What is this Australia? HA!

1st Man said...

They do hide easily don't they? And we hope nothing inside either but, at the risk of really freaking you out, we DID find a snake skin inside once. Ugh.

Fingers crossed on the fruit trees!!

1st Man said...

The snake skin after the initial shock of seeing it (you instantly think SNAKE! then realize it's just a skin ha). Black widows will die.

1st Man said...

Hello!!! Yep, I leave the good spiders alone, sure they creep me out but they do good things. The black widows we just can't take a chance with. But yep, even with all these creepy crawlies, we love it out there. Thank you!!!

1st Man said...

REALLY? You can tell by the skin? Cool! He/She can have ALL the rodents it wants.

I didn't know about that with the venom. Wow. Fogging is a good idea as long as it doesn't hurt (absorb) into the veggies.

We had a skin in the house once but never found the snake. Hoping it left the way it came in.