Friday, May 28, 2010

Snake hunting and other summer fun

I knew it had been a while since I've blogged but just realized that it has been a whole month!

Summer is here! YIPEEEE

We are in the thick of our first cutting of hay, we just settled in a new batch of chickens and...we are all really tired. The second day the kids were out of school, Taylor hurt her back working in the chicken house and Kyle was coughing and wheezing from being in the chicken houses and from the hay. I told Rodney "it's just the second day and we've already almost killed them".

But on to the fun stuff.
Now that summer is here, we travel around a lot on the four-wheeler. This is the view from the four-wheeler at all times. Eddie is the leader. He shows us the way, apparently.
It makes him feel important. And it also expends a whole lot of that boxer energy that is, at some point, going to emerge whether you like it or not.
Plus, it's really fun to watch those cheeks and tongue contort and twist and morph into the funniest faces. You can just feel the excitement. This is one of my favorite things about Eddie. His joy is palpable and infectious.
Have you ever heard a string of words, processed them in your brain and out comes a song from the 70's? I found myself, for some odd reason, singing Anne Murray's "You Needed Me" to Eddie this morning.

"I cried a tear, you wiped it dry, I was confused, you cleared my mind..."

Somehow, somewhere, my life has gotten off track.
But I digress. This particular summer's eve, Kyle and I were headed out to do a bit of snake hunting. I had to ask if I could pretty-please come along. Feels a little weird to ask your kids permission to come along with them. So, Kyle with his shotgun and me with my camera, were headed out to find snakes to blow to smithereens.
And Eddie too.
Kyle has been very successful at snake hunting thus far this summer. I'm not sure of the actual count but it is significant. He is only shooting moccasins and copper heads. Black snakes and the like are on my list of endangered species and they are not to be shot. They are eating rats and and vermin and aren't poisonous, so they run free.
We headed back to the "far south" pond which is more of a swamp...a great place for snakes to hang out. And a great place for Eddie to cool off since he just ran a mile in the heat.
This is when things get really exciting. Kyle gave me many explicit instructions about snake hunting. First of all, I was to stay right behind him and not wander off. I do that you know. Secondly, had I been carrying a .22, I would have to be in the back. The person with the shotgun is always the lead. Fortunately, I was only armed with my camera so I didn't really need to worry about that one. The couple of times I made my way in front of Kyle while wandering aimlessly with my camera, I was told to GET BACK and SHUT UP.
We didn't ever see any snakes, except the putrescent dead ones that had been killed the previous day. I decided not to take pictures of that. But, glory hallelujah, a snapping turtle. These are fair game as well on the farm since they eat fish and are just not cute at all.
After a good 20 minutes, I was bored of snake hunting so I parked it on the four-wheeler and waited for Kyle to finish making his rounds. What could be more fun for a 16-year-old boy I ask? This makes my heart happy.
This is him waving me forward. He used to do this when he was about 4-years-old and we were in the Wal-Mart parking lot. He would hold up his hand like a traffic cop in the pedestrian crossing while the cars waited and motion me forward. "Come on Mom, it's safe" he would say. It was the cutest thing ever.

I shall have more summer excitement to post soon. Summer is when the farm is a busy little beehive of work. Everything is alive and green as we relish in the splendor of the earth's bounty. For this, I am thankful.