Monday, November 4, 2019


It was as near a perfect weekend as we get around these parts.  Cool, breezy, low humidity.  I was psyched for the day's adventure.

Raised beds
The main goal was to work in the garden and close it up for the Winter.  We aren't going to have a Fall garden so I had just been waiting for a non rainy and non 90 degree day to work on it.  The first thing I do is pull up all the weeds and grass and then I turn the soil with a shovel and rake it smooth before adding a bag of soil blend.

I got these four raked up and emptied of grass and weeds.  This is a work in progress photo.

Overgrown bed
Then I turned to the two hardest beds.  The front two were full.  Nothing had been planted in them so the weeds took over.  This one had these tall weeds of some sort growing, the one next to it had mostly grass.  This photo was after I had already pulled up about half of them.  I remembered "oh I need to take a picture" and so I did.  Then I proceeded to finish pulling it all.  It was nice and empty and might I remind you, all DONE BY HAND.  

Then I got the shovel and rake out so I could turn the soil before adding a new bag.

I turned the soil a bit so I got the rake and started raking it.  As I pulled the rake toward me...


I dropped the rake and screamed quietly ran backed away from the snake.

I stood there contemplating this turn of events and how best to handle it.  

Do I try to kill it with a shovel?
What kind of snake is it?  
Do I just give up for the day?

Raised bed invaders
As I stood there looking at the obstacles that life can sometimes put in our way, I saw something moving along the edge of the same raised bed where the snake was.  Do you see it?  

Here, let me enlarge it for you...

Black widow spider


What is it about this raised bed?  Is it trying to kill me or something?

Giving up for the day was looking better and better.

Then I realized this is life at the farm, it's the things we'll have to adapt to and figure out a solution.

The spider solution was easy.  It died shortly after the photo was taken.  The snake turned out to be a rat snake, the most common ones we have out there.  Not venomous.  But still, how to handle?  

I looked around and saw the old galvanized trashcans from a prior potato growing experiment.  I grabbed one, took the lid off and put it in the bed near the snake.

Rat snake
This is the snake heading in the general direction of the can.  I held the rake in one hand and the trash can lid in the other...

It looked somewhat like this*

*2nd Man tells me to make sure I clarify it looked nothing like this.

The snake opened its mouth at the rake a couple of times but it finally slithered in...

Snake in a can it is in the bottom of the can right before I put the lid on.  I then carried it to a distant part of the property, took the lid off and tipped it over.  It slithered into the brush and disappeared.

I took a well deserved break to allow my heart rate to return to normal and went back to the garden.

Raised bed done
Here is the snake/spider bed after I finally finished it.  I worked on the other beds and I am almost done but I need another weekend to complete them all.  I have a lot of dried grass and dead weeds to take up from the ground and make it look somewhat better but the hard work was done.  

I decided to go work on the fruit tree beds while I had the necessary tools already out and my heart rate was already high.  

I started at one end and edged them all then started pulling weeds.  I got about half of them done and then I saw this...

Black widow


That's it.


Time to wrap it up for the day.

(FYI this black widow spider also died shortly after the photo was taken).

As pulse pounding as it was, it was still a good weekend.  We had errands to run Sunday but I got a lot done on Saturday.  This coming weekend should be both days and I can get finished up for the Winter.

I don't like spiders and snakes...
(wasn't that a song?)


  1. i would have to sell the farm. you are much braver than i am!

  2. Spiders are easy to dispatch. Snakes not so much. Good moves on your part.

  3. you need a visit from the pest people to spray around all those wooden edges. dry timber like that is spider paradise and they will be breeding ! do it now or you will have many more in Spring.

  4. I'm thinking that a real homesteader would have had the snake for dinner. Does 2nd Man have a recipe for them? :-)

  5. I love the “selfie” of you in your snake-spider fighting gear!
    So glad that you safely trapped the snake and released him to eat mice and rats around your property.
    You’re having more snake and spider encounters because your Farm is quiet for days or weeks at a time and that’s the kind of place they like. When you move out to the Farm permanently, with your daily activity around the place, you should see less snakes and spiders. For now, keep your snake-spider super hero outfit nearby!

  6. That Captain America picture had me literally laughing out loud when I read what you said and what 2nd Man said.

  7. Welcome to the Farm & Country Living; where a person can expect the unexpected.
    No way would I had stuck around as long as you.
    A person just never knows what is hiding in tall weeds.
    Now if that where a rattle snake, kill it and 2nd man could had prepared rattlesnake meal for you. (not bad tasting providing you don't know what you're eating that is)
    I agree with Texas Rose; "keep your snake-spider super hero outfit nearby!" You may need to get one for 2nd man as well.

    Song by Jim Stafford; Spiders and Snakes.
    'I don't like spiders and snakes
    And that ain't what it takes to love me
    You fool, you fool
    I don't like spiders and snakes
    And that ain't what it takes to love me
    Like I want to be loved by you'
    (next time you go to the farm; Don't forget your suit of armor. :}

  8. Wow Captain A, I'm glad you survived you harrowing experiences! You tell a great story! Also tell 2nd man you today rocked the hammer and shield picture 😁. 💖💖💖💖

  9. Mmmmm I wonder what you'd do if you ran into one of our Wolf Spiders??? They look like mini tarantulas & have two big fangs that they get you with. Won't kill you but hurts like hell when they bite & then it swells up hugely. Take care of your little snake, it keeps the garden pests under control.

  10. Glad you simply relocated the snake. What a shame those black widows died a "natural" death shortly after being spotted!

    1. I think 1st man scared them poor spiders to death; reason for their sudden death. :}

  11. This post both scared me and made me laugh out loud. Thanks!! Be safe too! Kelly

  12. HA HA HA HA HA Got my laugh for the morning. You are hilarious, and brave!

  13. You made me LOL at this post! Especially the garbage can lid and rake! LOL

    I'm actually kind of fond of snakes as long as they don't surprise me, but you can get rid of all the venomous spiders you'd like. One reason I'm glad I live in MI. Only one type of venomous snake lives here, and they are pretty rare - Massasauga rattler.



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