Wednesday, 12 July 2017 06:38

Heartfelt Clips and Healthy Tips: Backyard Critters

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I’m sure many of you have encountered backyard critters. Living in the county and having thick brush behind my home, I also encounter these interesting creatures on a regular basis. A few weeks ago as I was cooking, I looked out of my kitchen window, which overlooks the entire backyard, and noticed several rabbits. Three of them chased each other around the yard, then two wandered off to continue on a different route as they played “catch me” while running around my barrel garden as their obstacle course. It was quite amusing to watch.

I also encountered another interesting situation the next week which happened to take place on Independence Day. I regularly put seed out for the birds, and the squirrels usually wind up taking it over. My oldest daughter recently found a neat bird feeder that hung by suction cups on a window (supposedly squirrel proof). I walked through the kitchen on this particular day, when I noticed a squirrel seriously studying my window bird feeder. I opened the back door and shooed him away then continued my work in the kitchen when I heard a commotion behind me. As I turned around, this squirrel had climbed my privacy fence and jumped onto my side window in which the feeder was not attached, in an attempt to try to figure out how to get to the other side of the house to the feeder.

I quickly grabbed my cell to capture this unusual moment in which he was plastered to the screen, then once again shooed him away. A little while later, I walked back into the kitchen only to notice to my amazement there sat the squirrel in the feeder, filling up on the bird seed! Once again, I grabbed my cell to snap another moment but before I could finish the first shot, another one jumped in the feeder and the battle of the squirrels began. I had to become the “mean lady in the house” as I shooed them both away. Now this called for drastic measures, in which my only alternative was to stand on guard duty for a while. Due to the constant determination of these creatures, I no longer have my feeder attached to the window.

We as humans could learn something from these critters.

Enjoy life while you can and when you have a dream, be determined —never give up!

SNAKE SAFETY

Spring, Summer, and Fall bring these reptiles out of their hibernation. Most people are frightened of snakes, when in fact we should be more aware of them instead. I myself have spent most of my life afraid of them. Last year I finally came to the conclusion, after encountering them numerous times, they are more afraid of us than we are of them (with the exception of cotton mouths/water moccasins, which I’ve heard will come after you, YIKES!). Anyway, if we will just be extra careful and more aware of our surroundings, we could possibly avoid a close encounter with one. Be familiar with the places they like to dwell; tall grasses, rocky areas, holes, heavily wooded areas, bodies of water, or in fact, any areas. Do not try to pick one up, even one that seems to be dead can still strike. The purchase of snake boots can also be a preventive measure. If you encounter one, slowly walk away. Also make yourself knowledgeable of the poisonous and non-poisonous ones.

Black snakes are actually our friend; they kill poisonous ones. Some of the characteristics of a poisonous one are arrowhead shape of the head, rattlers, and the slitted pupils; although there are some exceptions; one exception being the Coral Snake. Both of these have the same colors, just different patterns. Both have rounded heads and round pupils. One way to be able to tell the poisonous one from the non-poisonous one is with this jingle; “Red on Black is a friend of Jack, Black on Yellow will kill a fellow.” The Coral Snake is the deadliest snake around this area, so remembering this little jingle could save yours or someone else’s life.

Remember, always be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid areas they like to lay in wait!