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Posts Tagged ‘bees’

Striped_Skunk

Photo from en.wikipedia.org

I have been living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for 26 years now and I am a self proclaimed “local”, but still considered a visitor by genuine old timers. It seems like eons ago I  traded citified  high heeled shoes (that don’t work on gravel drives) for  more sensible Wellies or flats that keep you from falling over.

OF COURSE you never have to ask for Dor’s sage words of wisdom.  Here’s the scoop and the straight talk about country living.

MAKE FRIENDS WITH WILDLIFE!

Deer Turkey Convention 3

Wild things “where the deer and the antelope play” make up a big part of country life but please forgive them their sins.

Deer are hungry.

And anything you plant in the ground (flowers, food, maybe even plastic plants) will send out signals in deer language.

Have you ever heard deer talking?  They oink to each other and they don’t know it but I know they are saying,

“Come and Get It Guys!!  SALAD HERE!”

But you have to love deer for their great beauty and grace.  And after all, they were here first.

  • Exception #1:  Do not try to make friends with Virginia Black Bears.  They are beautiful but somehow not to be trusted with your life.  AVOID VIRGINIA BLACK BEARS.
  • Exception #2:  If you see a sick skunk, do not try to cover it with a blanket to reduce chills and fever.  Dor tried this once.  Fortunately the shivering skunk dragged itself away, but I learned later it might have been rabid!  I hope it was only the flu, but please – AVOID SICK SKUNKS!
  • Exception #3:  Buy or borrow a “Have a Heart Trap.”  This comes in handy for humanely evicting critters that get into your attic like flying squirrels and possums.
Nice View Here

This is just a cute squirrel…not a flying squirrel. I have never seen a flying squirrel but my neighbors had them in their attic.

 

PLANT A VEGETABLE GARDEN BUT MAKE IT BIG

We planted a garden right away but were laughed at.

“Need some help harvesting?” said Julie and Peggy between rude guffaws!

I guess one cucumber and one tomato plant was considered small potatoes around here.

It wasn’t much of a salad for the deer either.

YOU WILL SOMETIMES MISS THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE

Plan on losing POWER, WATER, HEAT, AIR-CONDITIONING and don’t expect to FLUSH TOILETS EITHER!  These things usually disappear without warning at the most inopportune times.

WHACK AWAY AT THOSE WEEDS!

You will undoubtedly own five to ten weed whackers over five to ten years.  WEEDS ARE KILLERS OF MECHANICAL OBJECTS.  And weeds will always win.  Be vigilant. Enormous weeds will soon take over without your constant murderous intention.  Wear gloves for manual attacks or risk bleeding fingers and bug bites.  And be prepared.  You will definitely lose the war.

THERE ARE GOOD BEES AND BAD BEES

Have a plan for dealing with wasps and hornets who build TERRORIST CAMPS in the ground or in great hives almost anywhere you don’t think of.  We found one enormous hive in the fender of our pickup truck.  We moved the truck and the critters kept returning to the empty parking space.

Evidently wasps are not particularly bright.

Now there is a terrorist camp in the ground next to our front door!  Beware visitors.

Bill has a diabolical plan for dealing with the threat.  He ran a hose into the hole and turned the water on.  We are waiting to see if they evacuate and move to a more idyllic location.  I will let you know how this works out.

Request for Bee Eviction 2

WORRISOME WEATHER

We have had flooding rains.

Once we had an earthquake that registered as a mild thump with some rattling dishes.

We experienced a Derecho (a type of storm I never even heard of) with wicked winds.

Tree Limbs Down (800x800)

Tornadoes are rare but not unheard of.

Drought is a distinct possibility.

Deep snow does happen.

Hot, muggy, mid-summer weather is punctuated by severe thunder storms. (Dor hides in a closet.  She used to blame the dog.)

However, we were told and still believe this is Brigadoon and it only rains at night.

Don’t get me wrong.

I LOVE COUNTRY LIFE,

the birds singing

and starry skies,

seeing a doe nursing twin fawns,

herds of turkeys,

  Mama Bear and two cubs wandering by our living room windows.

I love the open space

and the silence,

the comfort of knowing we are almost self sufficient,

the warmth of a wood stove and being stocked up for the winter,

and occasionally I even love the challenge of survival

in a place that is not always benevolent.

I still stand in my kitchen and look out at the Blue Ridge Mountains and then I look again at the inside of our house.  It is a welcome nest Bill and I have created and it is all we had ever hoped it would be, complete with all the memories.

Are you still contemplating the serenity of country life?

Ahhhh –  call me if you have questions!

Shenandoah Sunrise

Shenandoah Sunrise

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