Bonafide Farm

What was I just saying about wildlife?

August 6th, 2013 § 3

So at midnight tonight I lay down my magazine and got up to go to the bathroom. I was sitting on the toilet when I saw a mouse poke its head out from behind a basket in the corner of the room. You longtime readers know what that means: mouse rodeo!

Because I am a remarkably more ruthless rodent killer when I haven’t been just awoken from a dead sleep, I quickly scooped up my cat from where she was reclining, pasha-like, on the bed, and bounced her into the bathroom with a command to get to work, while I shut us both inside and stuffed a towel under the door. And then I picked up a foam flip-flop from A.T., a “career” clothing store much beloved by D.C.-area wonkettes.

My dog gets a lot of props on this blog, but tonight the cat got to shine. It took about two seconds for her to hone in on the mouse, and she drove it right into my path. One whack stunned it, but it jumped up and made for the back of the toilet. I changed weapons to a Brazilian beach-ready, much sturdier rubber flip-flop and struck again. The poor mouse quivered a bit and bled out on my floor, but died right next to the disinfecting wipes.


When I picked it up for disposal, I saw that a piece of the netting I use to keep the chickens out of the garden was stuck around its middle, grown into the flesh like a porpoise stuck in a plastic six-pack holder. For some reason that made me sad, and I can not tell you why.

All creatures small and tiny

August 5th, 2013 § 1

Are gross.

On Saturday I was doing some cleanup in the garden and went to clip this dead branch out of the giant rosemary in the front garden.


As I was reaching toward the bush my spidey sense twinged, and in that instant I caught sight of a quarter inch of shiny black skin wound up around the plant.


And this guy came out to say hi. He (or she) is just a little black snake,¬†probably one of the 16 ¬†born under the front sidewalk, yech. I know they’re good to have around, but I don’t want to reach into a plant and grab a snake instead of a stem. Needless to say I gave the rosemary a wide berth as I finished cleaning up the garden.

Then later that night I called Tuck in from his before-bed rounds. I had his topical tick medication all lined up to apply, and as I squirted it on the back of his neck I noticed he had what looked like cinnamon powder all over his head around his eyes. I brushed at it and instantly dozens of teeny tiny ticks started marching up my arm. Oh, the irony! There are few things I find grosser than seed ticks, so I ran for the office to grab my packing tape.

I deticked myself with the sticky side of the tape, and then set about pressing strips of tape to my poor dog’s eyeballs, trying to get the ticks out of his fur. He was a patient champ, but it was not a brilliant way to wind down before bed as I found my skin crawling all night with (hopefully) psychosomatic bloodsuckers.

It was one of those nights (which happen pretty often here, actually) when I felt like I’d had quite enough of country living, thank you very much.

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