Saturday 23 January 2010

Extreme Measures

"Mam, Maaaammm!"
I only just heard her shouting to me above the noise of the washing machine as I was folding clothes.  I looked out of the window, and Sarah had hoisted herself up and was balancing on the top of the picket fence, holding onto an arbour.  Between our herb garden

and the arbour leading to the pool area, she had '...spotted the tail end of a small snake...'

I rushed to the phone and rang the Machinist up at the Shop

"Snake!  Quick!"

Within minutes, the Machinist walked through the front door, long handled spade in hand "Where? How?"  He went down the deck steps and cautiously poked at a clump of catmint, which was poking through the fence from the shrubbery garden within the 'Vegetable Garden'. 

What Sarah thought was a small snake, turned out to be much bigger. The Machinist took three whacks at the slithering reptile with the spade

Site of the whacking: arbour leading to the 'Pool Room'

The snake slithered away.  I stood on the back deck, watching and feeling physically faint.  I watched it slither under the gladitsia bush, past a purple rose, then under a row of baby's breath, then....where?  It had totally disappeared.  We knew that probably injured, the snake would be angered.  Due to the midday sun and heat, along with shadows from shrubs and bushes, Slithering Houdini had made his getaway... The trouble is - our garden is totally fenced in (goodness knows where he and the other villain entered in the first place).  "They always travel in two's, Helen" I can still hear mam advising me on numerous occasions. 

The dogs have spent the day indoors.  I will not let them out until the snake is found.  The Machinist insisted I go into town to buy aspirins.  He has been told, from a reliable source, that crushed aspirin, mixed in a bowl of milk, will attract a snake from it's hiding position and kill it.  While I took the trip into town, the Machinist whipped up four 'dish guards' from square mesh, to put over the bowls of milk, and thereby prevent the kitties from supping up the deadly concoction. 

Extreme situations call for extreme measures.

I returned with the strongest of aspirins as well as Napthalene blocks. After the Machinist had crushed them and spread them around the perimeter of the dogs yard, we could detect that nasty moth ball smell from the front driveway.  Even while we were still in the car.

The dogs will have to spend their days in the Grand's fenced in, snake-proof garden and nights in our house during the next few days / weeks - until we can assure their safety in the back yard. 

In other news, we've applied three coats of clear epoxy to the 100 square metre plus gallery / cafe floor, as well as three coats of a coloured composite resin to the 45 square metre kitchen floor. Oh, and we've started moving the kitchen equipment in, too.  You can read about it at .

 I have a shift at the winery tomorrow. And so, for me it's - to bed!


Vera said...

Lovely to hear from you again, Helen, and I do so hope you find that snake. After your recent experience with your dog, I would think you will be very on edge until the snake is found. Am pottling over to see what you have been doing with your kitchen now.

Ken Devine said...

Hi Helen
My knowledge of snakes has increased 100%. Thank goodness we don't have to consider then here. Let's hope your concoction does the trick.

Like Vera, while you are asleep I'll nip over to see how the floor is getting on.

French Fancy... said...

Oh Helen, I can imagine you so unsettled until you find it and its friend. Interesting that the aspirin scattered around will deter them from coming nearer.

As for Ken's remark - sorry Ken but there are adders in Brittany. When we first moved here our neighbours told us that come the spring and the first warmer sunshine it is good to stamp around one's garden and get them to slither away. In our seven years here I've seen about four.

Stephanie said...

I'd never heard that snakes travel in twos. Good move on your girl's part to hop up on the fence. Scary!

matron said...

Thank St Patrick that we do not have any snakes in Ireland,I would totally freak out if I saw a snake,especially the kind that bite dogs and the large kind your daughter found !!
I never knew that sakes travel in pairs or that asprin deters/kills them,will remember that for when I go to Portugal again,because we do have snakes in the old vine yard there.
Glad to hear the Pie shop is getting closer to production,can't wait for completion !!

Donna B. said...

Helen, please stop by my blog for a sweet surprise...


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....