I am in the process of creating a sustainable homestead. So far that consists of two little Nigerian dwarf goats. Well last Friday night, the little one which we call Gouda, got bitten on the nose by a western diamondback rattlesnake. The screaming started at about ten thirty. When we got down there only her little nose was swollen. I thought maybe a kissing bug or a scorpion had gotten her cute little nose. But, as I watched her face kept swelling quickly! In no time at all her eyes were swollen shut and crying blood. I grabbed the little camping headlight and began the search for a rattler. There it was under the goats trough. I tried to get it out to transport it off my property. But moving it got unsafe due to its location, so I had to run him through. I then shoved a couple benadryl down its throat, and decided to just see if she made it through the night. The next morning she was still alive and got up when I walked up. So I searched the web for home remedies. We gave her penicillin shots, liquid antihistamine, ibuprofen, electrolytes and a goat feed smoothie. By that night meaning Saturday, the swelling had receded from her eyes and she was more active. Another day of the same treatment and by Sunday night she was eating regular feed on her own. The goat in question weighs about 35lbs., so the rattlesnake must not have injected venom into Gouda. They say that rattlesnake strikes for defense not hunting or often a dry strike. The snake has the option to inject venom with both fangs, one or neither. And luckily this one chose none. Little Gouda didn’t exhibit the shakes or obviously the coma associated with snake venom in goats. This was the first time I’ve had to deal with a rattle snake bite in 37 years living in the desert and nearly ten as an outdoor guide. It was great to get first hand knowledge and I am very happy the patient survived. As the tittle suggests i have found a name for my small dairy.
Archive for June, 2011
Horrrayyy! Pima County just recently put a ban of fireworks. I know, I know, bah-humbug right? But it seems like the dire situation regarding our fire danger is starting to resonate a little louder for people. And while fireworks look pretty and in some ways embody our independence, they still certainly burn very hot and like to catch things on fire. Hopefully our loyal and trustworthy ambassadors of the land, otherwise known as Tucsonans, will abide by this law and not shoot off any of the fireworks already purchased. Here’s to hoping . . . .
Everyday I look up at the Catalina Mountains, and surrounding mountainous playgrounds, and pray for some rain. The National Forest closings are a very effective way at preventing a human caused fire, but also is a very effective way to get me extremely stir crazy. Stuck indoors, and too hot to go outside yields some serious mid summer anxiety. Kind of like the endless mid west winters but worse. When it’s cold, you can put on warmer outdoor cloths and layer up. Here, you can only take off so much before there’s nothing left, and then it’s still too hot to do anything. But at least I can look at those awesome mountains and appreciate that they aren’t orange and yellow. And with some serious luck, we might get some monsoon rain in the next month or so and get these forests open again.
But if the firework ban has got you down this independence day, don’t fret too much. Pima County’s firework show and annual A Mountain burning is still scheduled to go off on Monday, and the JW Marriott at Starr Pass is also to have its firework shows on Friday and Sunday. So don’t get too sad, the gold, blue and red sparkles will still be zipping around the skies over the 4th.
Dispite the hard freeze that we expierienced this year as well as dismal rains, there is still a small amount of saguaro fruit around. I won’t be doing a real harvest as the amount of fruit available is low. Some morsels will be enjoyed on trail. Look for fruits that have been knocked into the shrubs or weeds around a saguaro. This will keep you from breaking the no harvesting on public lands thing, and the shrub usually keeps the ants off of them.
Which is what the wild fire status is in Arizona. I ran into some fire fighters who were getting ready to go tackle the Monument fire. You have to give it to the Hot Shot Crews. Not only are they heading into the face of danger, but there fighting fires when it’s over 100 degrees. And they have to wear some pretty heavy and bulky protective clothing which can only add to the heat. But thanks to them, we might have a forest left over from this years inferno to enjoy. Let’s all hope for some much needed rain to help put these fires out, and help get all the stranded people back into their homes.
Be fire smart in the state. No camp fires please!!! If it’s not on fire already, it’s just waiting to burn, so please be extra carful in our public lands. And for gods sake, don’t shoot off fire works. Just because some money hungry politicians legalized them, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to actually use them.
We all know that mountain biking is great. It’s exciting, fun, good for you, and an excellent way to see the scenry. Of the many sports I have, or currently, participate in, none offer the freedom quite like a bike does.
Soccer, for example, requires a team. Climbing requires lots and lots of gear and a partner to keep you from dying. Snowboarding, well who’s kidding who, we don’t have any snow in the desert.
But biking; absolute freedom. I don’t need people to come with me, or gear to keep me from hitting the ground. All I need is my bike and helmet; that’s really it. Hop on and start pedaling, and all of a sudden I’m moving! No gas required, or registration needed; purly fun.
The sad news is that I havn’t had many guided mountain biking trips this summer. It doesn’t have to be that way though, you could be my next potential client. Give us a ring, and we can show you the best trails the Tucson Basin has to offer. And, we can do it in the dark, thanks to some sweet Nite Rider Light Systems.
This pair of Purple Martins keeps coming back to the plot……unfortunately, this year their favorite nesting site in Saguaro 55-05 was lost due to the freezes in February 2011. Now they seem to be “looking at” the Gila Woodpecker nest site in Saguaro 71-05. But often this season they have been found quietly perched as you see them in these two images – about where their former nest was located in the upper central stem of 55-05.
By now,in each years use of the area, they have “lost” the company of their young-of-the-year that had accompanied them in their migration north.
This year their surviing brood consisted of two females. When they arrived in the area they had followed their parents to the hill. Now they are not being seen having probably been “attracted” to their first nest sites of their own by the displays of local solicitous males.
Well, it seems as though it might actually be temporarily closing due to extreme fire danger risk. With numerous un-controlled wild fires burning in the state, the Coronado National Forest decided that the best preventative measure would be to keep people out. And they’re probably right. It was reported that large groups both camping and picnicking over the last weekend widely ignored the fire restrictions put into place by the state, which help prompt the restriction on National Forest land. With hundreds of thousands of acres burning, and with the states budget and fire crews being worn thin, we simply cannot afford to have another large scale fire. So lets all do some rain dances, and get some much need moisture into our lands.
Until then, be fire smart. No camp fires, or open flam stoves of any kind are allowed in the state right now (no charcole grills either). No smoking unless you are in a CONTAINED vehicle (don’t throw butts out the window). And be mindful of where your parking your car; exhaust pipes and brakes get very hot and can start a fire. Finally, don’t drive into smoke. Where there’s smoke . . . well you know how it goes.