I am a girly-girl. Not a pink princess kind of girly-girl, but a "honey, come quick and kill this bug for me", or standing on the chair screaming when there is a mouse, kind of girly-girl. I'm not a big fan of that kind of thing. Creepy-crawlies are interesting to read about or look at from behind glass, but definitely, not to touch. But living in the woods has slowly begun to cure me of those tendencies. I mean, there are bugs everywhere. I either have to get used to them or stay inside ALL of the time, so I am getting used to them. So used to them in fact that I now catch some bugs with my bare hands in order to feed them to my chickens :)
There are two creepy-crawlies in particular that I am getting used to, but still really don't like very much. The first is ticks and the second is snakes. We live in the woods and these woods are filled with deer, so we have to contend with ticks. I've already spoken with our doctor about it to make sure we are not in danger of contracting diseases and he said that we are too far south to be in danger (the infected ticks are several states further north), so we are not resorting to chemicals to deal with them. We are employing the hungry hen method of tick elimination, hoping that our girls will rid the area immediately surrounding the house of those creepy-crawlies. Until they do that, though, I am getting some experience with removing ticks. I'm hoping to soon post some interesting stuff I learned about tick removal.
Regarding snakes, we've only seen a few and they have all been rat snakes which are non-venomous, so I'm trying to be ok with it :) Here is a picture of the first time we saw one (you will need to enlarge it to really see anything).
We've since seen a few more, once even in my compost, but each time, they were gone when I returned with my camera (I guess they are shy ;). So, in order to make sure we don't have any bad snake encounters, we are doing a few things to keep safe. First, no one goes out into the woods without their boots. Second, we are learning to recognize the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes. And third, we are working on increasing our situational awareness - really being on the lookout for snakes.
I recently read that chickens will eat mice and small snakes, so my girls are going to help us with the snake population as well as the tick population, I hope. Love my girls!!
I'm going to try to get a garden update posted in the next few days. Its going to be a small garden this year, but its still such fun!!