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Country Life

753 Views 29 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  khoff999
I grew up in the big city, but for 20+ years I've been living out in the country on a small lake surrounded by woods.

I love the fresh air and well water, and I love the animals around here, too.

But sometimes animals will make it into the house, and that is where Country Life gets pretty real.

I had a flock of geese walk into the house once. What a mess! when I tried to chase them out, the first thing they did was crap right where they stood. But that was nothing....

Last night I came home from a bike ride and there was a pair of six foot black snakes all tangled up together copulating in my jam room in the back of the house! 馃槯

I was pretty lucky. I used a hockey stick to gently guide them back toward the front of the house, and when I had a good angle at the open front door, I slid the stick blade under their bodies and fired them at the door with a wrist shot. One of them went clear and out to the porch, but the other one hit the door frame and I had to make a quick second play to get him out, meanwhile the first snake was making it back to the house and just as quickly I got the door closed...and just like that, the crisis was over.

But of all the crazy things I've seen out here, that one was right up there. In just sheer footage, that was the most snake(s) I ever had in the house at one time. A solid 11 or 12 feet of snake with the two of them. But lucky for me, they were more interested in each other and hardly even noticed me until I shot them out the door with a forehand wrister.

Clearing mating snakes out of the house with a hockey stick. That was this week's episode of "Country Life"

anybody else get to encounter the natural world in their domicile, or are you guys pretty civilized out there?
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The worst we had was a pigeon flying into the house.....
The worst we had was a pigeon flying into the house.....
hey, that can still get out of hand. Birds push off with thier legs when they take off. I had a cardinal fly in the house once and it was all pretty cool until he flew in the kitchen and lighted on some dinner plates that were drying in the dish rack. He ended up breaking 3 plates and a water glass before he finally left.
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English countryside for us. We have seen a few grass snakes. We get badgers, foxes, deer, geese, rabbits etc. and the the odd vole, mouse or rabbit in kit form on our carpet courtesy of the cat.
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English countryside for us. We have seen a few grass snakes. We get badgers, foxes, deer, geese, rabbits etc. and the the odd vole, mouse or rabbit in kit form on our carpet courtesy of the cat.
I dont have badgers here. Our local entry in that category of varmint are racoons. You think of racoons as being about the size of a hat or cap. Well, I had a 25 pound female trapped out of here last winter. I tell you, you could have made a sweater for a 5 year old child out of this one. That's not even the biggest one I've seen out here, either.

I always tell people who want to bring their dogs when they come out, not to tie them up and leave them unattended. I have "professional" animals out here. You know, ones that do it for a living. A suburban pet tied up and left alone doesn't have a chance.
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I am in the country but compared to the US it is not wild at all. (People have had permanent settlements here for around two millenia, I'd guess. There was a small celtic fortress on a hill about 10 kilometers away from here and the village I live in has been settled for over 1200 years.)
There is a village every ~2-4 kilometers and the land in between mostly farmland, pastures (with cows), orchards, some forest. Although the patches of forest are relatively small and with paths and dirt roads in them they have apparently wild boars although I have never seen one (the butcher shoots them and sells their meat, so there have to be enough of them). There are plenty of deer (capreolus capreolus), I see a few of them almost every week when jogging or taking walks. There must also be rabbits and hares but I have rarely seen one (I think about two years ago I saw two hares a week after Easter... ;)) A few years ago I also saw an animal that was probably a fox (or maybe a raccoon, it was too large and too red for a raccoon but I the tail seems striped which fits for a raccoon).

I have never had anything worse in the house than a mouse. There are lots of birds, mostly small, many pigeons (that got away from the city or from people keeping them), smallish birds of prey like red kite, I have seen herons (rarely because in my immediate neighbourhood there's not enough water/swamp for them), but don't remember seeing a stork here, but there are some in the general region.
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I live 20 yards from a large nature reserve, which I love. I walk my dog there an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, plus meet dog-walking friends. (It's 65% bush, 35% open space for off-leash dogs.)We even have a weekly (or so) gin club. But that's not the wild nature part. I've seen wedge-tailed eagles, powerful owls (which dine on possums, which are bigger than racoons), kookaburras, foxes, 50 species of birds etc. Luckily, I've never seen a snake (Australian snakes are mostly deadly) but I'd be surprised if there were none there. The bush, the creek! Also, part of it used to be the southern hemisphere's largest daffodil farm, now defunct. I feel very blessed indeed.
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I live 20 yards from a large nature reserve, which I love. I walk my dog there an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, plus meet dog-walking friends. (It's 65% bush, 35% open space for off-leash dogs.)We even have a weekly (or so) gin club. But that's not the wild nature part. I've seen wedge-tailed eagles, powerful owls (which dine on possums, which are bigger than racoons), kookaburras, foxes, 50 species of birds etc. Luckily, I've never seen a snake (Australian snakes are mostly deadly) but I'd be surprised if there were none there. The bush, the creek! Also, part of it used to be the southern hemisphere's largest daffodil farm, now defunct. I feel very blessed indeed.
kookaburras....that's one we dont have here

But the birds of prey you have there, that's pretty cool stuff.

2 summers ago, right when all the geese were hatching their chicks, I had a bald eagle fly in and try and raid the geese living here. That was really something. I have seen eagles grab fish from the ocean up in Alaska, but never had I seen an eagle at this close a range doing real "combat" flying with a target acquired and all that. The geese must have held ranks because he never dove on the nest, just "buzzed" them waiting for a mis-step.

and good thing you dont see alot of snakes where you are. Most or your local snakes are some of the deadliest on Earth. These black snakes that checked themselves into the "Honeymoon Suite" at my place are not only not venomous, but they are rather timid, so I was very lucky

I did once kill a poisonous copperhead snake in my kitchen with a carving knife, but that was a totally different sort of encounter. My hands were actually shaking after that one. 馃槃
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I lived on a dirt rd in the middle of nowhere in Vermont for 8 years,it was fun
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kookaburras....that's one we dont have here

But the birds of prey you have there, that's pretty cool stuff.

2 summers ago, right when all the geese were hatching their chicks, I had a bald eagle fly in and try and raid the geese living here. That was really something. I have seen eagles grab fish from the ocean up in Alaska, but never had I seen an eagle at this close a range doing real "combat" flying with a target acquired and all that. The geese must have held ranks because he never dove on the nest, just "buzzed" them waiting for a mis-step.

and good thing you dont see alot of snakes where you are. Most or your local snakes are some of the deadliest on Earth. These black snakes that checked themselves into the "Honeymoon Suite" at my place are not only not venomous, but they are rather timid, so I was very lucky

I did once kill a poisonous copperhead snake in my kitchen with a carving knife, but that was a totally different sort of encounter. My hands were actually shaking after that one. 馃槃
Wow!. I think if I saw a snake in the house I'd grab the dog and the wife (in that order - no, just kidding) and get out. That's what snake catchers are for. But what if the snake disappeared while I was outside?
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I've lived in a forest outside a big city for about 6 years now. It's been lovely as we have all the advantages of country life and the city. Just recently got a new job which is a very rural area though, so we're now looking for something there. It will be an interesting experience to really be in the middle of nothing. The bright side is that real estate is then so much cheaper that I can probably get a much bigger studio than what I have.
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Never had a snake in a house but had a skunk in an office,to which the police removed
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I built my home 22 years ago on what was for decades farm land, mostly growing alfalfa for animal feed. As it was in the middle of the desert meant that we battled critters large and small but as the area has become more and more built up (ruining it) the visitors have decreased - but not totally. Every year I have to remove scorpions and lizards and black widows are not uncommon either. There are roof rats that love the citrus trees, and they provide the dogs a lot of entertainment. The wife doesn't find them fun at all. One of my favorite things to see in the yard is the occasional road runner (beep beep) that comes looking for bugs and other things to eat. The worst things are the now uncommon coyote that prowls the neighborhood looking for cats and small dogs to carry away and eat. Yes, it happens, and many people have lost pets that way. There's a 200-acre nature preserve nearby that these critters live in. It's not for everyone.
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Never had a snake in a house but had a skunk in an office,to which the police removed
Go on. Why didn't you just grab it? 馃ぃ
I've lived in a forest outside a big city for about 6 years now. It's been lovely as we have all the advantages of country life and the city. Just recently got a new job which is a very rural area though, so we're now looking for something there. It will be an interesting experience to really be in the middle of nothing. The bright side is that real estate is then so much cheaper that I can probably get a much bigger studio than what I have.
Yes, but you are also stuck there. At least, that is the experience in Australia. While you ruralise, you property will increase in value slowly while properties in city rocket, gradually making the city market impossible for you. Hve you considered keeping your property, renting it out and renting yourself in the bush?
Yes, but you are also stuck there. At least, that is the experience in Australia. While you ruralise, you property will increase in value slowly while properties in city rocket, gradually making the city market impossible for you. Hve you considered keeping your property, renting it out and renting yourself in the bush?
We sadly can't afford to do that. The thing is that even though it's a rural area, it is slowly being swallowed up closer to the capital city so the prices on a 10-20 year scale will definitely go up. Either way, the job is an associate professorship in music anyways so it will be stable and I doubt I will move jobs unless I would start freelancing 100% again.
I built my home 22 years ago on what was for decades farm land, mostly growing alfalfa for animal feed. As it was in the middle of the desert meant that we battled critters large and small but as the area has become more and more built up (ruining it) the visitors have decreased - but not totally. Every year I have to remove scorpions and lizards and black widows are not uncommon either. There are roof rats that love the citrus trees, and they provide the dogs a lot of entertainment. The wife doesn't find them fun at all. One of my favorite things to see in the yard is the occasional road runner (beep beep) that comes looking for bugs and other things to eat. The worst things are the now uncommon coyote that prowls the neighborhood looking for cats and small dogs to carry away and eat. Yes, it happens, and many people have lost pets that way. There's a 200-acre nature preserve nearby that these critters live in. It's not for everyone.
scorpions...yep. Glad we dont have those. I've been in West Texas and Arizona, so I can truly be glad that scorpions dont live here.

In Texas we had alot of black widow and brown recluse spiders. Probably where my arachnophobia started, but it isn't an irrational fear when you are talking black widows.

cayotes and foxes can be real problems here, too. I never had any pets at this place because the "night shift" out here is pretty lethal. Like I said earlier, there's "professional" animals out here...ones that do it for a living. You put your cat out for the night and that's that, really.
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I would like to get back to it if my wife and I can find something affordable with good water. The suburbs are very boring, and I don't want to live in the city.
Yes, but you are also stuck there. At least, that is the experience in Australia. While you ruralise, you property will increase in value slowly while properties in city rocket, gradually making the city market impossible for you. Hve you considered keeping your property, renting it out and renting yourself in the bush?
yep, that's me. I could sell this place and I wouldn't be able to afford a to buy place in any city on the eastern seaboard

Of course I could always sell and move to a rural area down south were the taxes are lower, but I like shoveling snow too much to do that 馃槃
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After leaving Chicago/Miami in my late 20's, I have lived for the last 40 plus years in the country. My first country house was in Northern Illinois and surrounded by cornfields, pastures, and meadows. At the time, I was an avid chess player and I owned a beautiful hand-carved set of chessmen and a solid wood board my father purchased for me a few years before. One morning, I got up and saw my porcelain tea cup turned over on the dining room table and coffee spilled on the tablecloth. Fortunately, it did not spill on my chessboard. When my wife awoke, I chastised her for knocking over the cup and almost ruining my chessboard. She said she had nothing to do with it. So, when I went to put the chessmen back in the box, I noticed a pawn and a knight were missing. Well, I'll spare you the conversation with my wife and I looked throughout the entire house and never found the pieces. Several days later, I was sitting on the couch listening to music and heard a noise coming from under the couch. There was something inside so I flipped the couch over and removed the black mesh covering on the bottom and discovered my missing chessmen, a pipe smokers cleaning tool, and a pair of dice and . . . a hole on the other end of the couch where something escaped. I called an exterminator in the morning and asked him what it could be and he told me to set a rat trap under the sink. Later that evening, I returned and found a strange creature dead in the trap. It was a pack rat that had found a way into the house through the foundation from the cornfield behind the house. I have never forgotten that episode and can at least say that, for a pack rat, he certainly had good taste.
Viajero
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