Winter hibernation

Time to get the plants in. We had a frost last Saturday even though the temperature only got down to 35 degrees. Being in the valley below a mountain, I usually have frost at 38 degrees. This weekend temps are expected to be in the 20’s.  No matter how careful I am, I usually bring some type of critter in while bringing the plants in for over wintering in the garage. This year while pushing in a ponytail plant I stuck my hand in a wasp nest hiding under the mane of the plant. The plant had been loaded into a front end loader of my John Deere,  carried a quarter of a mile and unloaded a few weeks back without the wasp leaving.

In celebration of my year anniversary blogging, I thought I’d repeat one of my first columns I wrote concerning what happened after bringing in the plants last fall:

It was pouring down rain when I got home and I left the dogs in the garage on the house and closed the door down to a height where they could get out if they wanted too. I had laid my mail on my truck when I went to the barn to feed. Later I thought about it and knew that I would have confetti in the morning if I didn’t get it. Blackie and Patches’ kept barking at the door after I went back in the house. Levi was no where to be found. That should have given me a clue. I finally got tired of listening and went back out to see what the uproar was about. I have half of the garage full of potted plants and hanging baskets I had brought in for the winter. Blackie kept lunging at a group of plants. I got closer and told Blackie she was imagining things and looked at some hanging baskets inches away and stopped in mid sentence. There stretched out across two hanging baskets was a rat snake. Now I had gotten comfortable after feeding the dogs, and ladies you know what I mean, no shoes, and just sweat pants and a T-shirt on. I put one glove on, grabbed the snake, tried to get to the opener button with Blackie jumping up and grabbing the snake’s tail while trying to locate an umbrella. Did I say it was pouring rain and the umbrella I found only covered one side? So here I am standing out in the pouring rain barefooted with a snake in one hand, umbrella in the other and Blackie jumping up and biting the snake’s tail and the snake is not happy and I’m trying to decide where put it. I finally decided to take it to the road and put it in the ditch on the other side of the road. Since Blackie couldn’t get to the road because of the underground fence it would be safe. Just as I turned it loose Jessica’s husband Randal came home, so my hope for secrecy was dashed. Here I am standing on the side of the road in a pouring rain storm, one glove on like Michael Jackson, no shoes, only sweat pants and a T-shirt on holding half an umbrella. He drove by real slow. After getting in the house I had to call Jessica and explain why this crazy woman was out on the road like she was. Moral of the story, if Blackie and Patches are chasing something and Levi is not around, it’s longer than a mouse.

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