Musings from the Threshold

Category Archives: Animals

The geese are back

This morning when I went for my walk/run, I found 8 Canada geese up by the pond. They are beautiful birds. I expected that they would get scared when I got up to the pond, but I didn’t seem to bother them much at all. As I would come close to the side of the pond where they were, they would just swim to the other side and wait till I approached. I guess I wasn’t the only one getting some exercise this morning!

Later in the day when we went up to our wonderful neighbors’ house to do some school stuff, I took my camera and got a couple of pictures of the geese. I need to figure out a good way to take my camera when I walk/run, especially with spring coming!

Oh, and speaking of being up at our neighbors’ (affectionately known as The K’s)… Stephen decided to get a workout while we watched a science video today. He really knows how to work this thing!

Barak’s Babies

Barak bought some guinea pigs back in August for his latest business venture. I think I neglected to post pictures of Crickets (the girl) and Curly (the boy) at the time. But I have a picture now! Crickets had a fine batch of babies on New Year’s Day – four of them! They are very adorable, don’t you think?

They will be up for sale in about six weeks. In the meantime they are being held and loved on and will be extremely friendly little pets.

I believe I’ve neglected to mention…

… that we have baby chicks in our house!  

No, they didn’t come with the property, though a lovely chicken house does, which is what allowed us to bite the bullet and order some chicks.  We’ve wanted chickens for several years, and were thrilled to be able to order some  It was the very end of the season – the last week they shipped out chicks, actually.  

The chicks were shipped on Wednesday and didn’t arrive at the post office till Saturday, which is longer than the hatchery would prefer.  Three of them did not survive shipping.  Here they are arriving home on Nov. 22:

They grow amazingly fast. By Nov. 30, a couple hopped/flew out of the baby pool, and they were up to all sorts of crazy antics like hopping on top of the feeder (maybe he was trying to tell us to refill it?):

So we raised the sides of our “brooder” to help contain them:

And they’re still growing – here they are today, a humorous mixture of down and feathers:

We don’t know yet what kinds of chickens they are. We ordered a batch of Assorted Heavy Breeds, which means they sent us at least 5 different breeds from their list of heavies. We got a straight run, which means they didn’t determine sex, they just sent us 25. So we’ll see how many roosters and how many layers we have once they get older. The majority (if not all) of the roosters will be butchered eventually, and we’re hopeful we can convince the hens to lay during the winter. We’ll see how it goes!

More about Jonathan’s copperhead bite

Here’s the copperhead bite story and an update.

Last night was our chapel Game Night. As usual, the canasta game (which always includes at least a couple members of our household) didn’t finish up until after 11. Jonathan and I helped clean up and work on various tasks, and some of the kids went out to the volleyball court to look for some missing shoes. When Jonathan went out to check on them, they told him they thought they saw a copperhead snake. I’m so thankful they knew enough to recognize it and to leave it alone (if they hadn’t recognized it, they would have tried to catch it… it’s in their genes).

I wandered out to the volleyball court after a while to see if the shoe search had been successful and found Jonathan poking around in the grass and trees next to the court, looking for the copperhead. We sent the kiddos to pack up in the van, and shortly thereafter, Jonathan comes up with the copperhead. As he walks towards me with it in his left hand, he’s shaking his right hand and saying, “Fast little booger.” Apparently, when he first caught it, it managed to keep enough of its neck free to get a fang in him.

We went inside and took some pictures of the snake. I was going to say, “first things first” about that, but the first thing actually was Jonathan sucking and spitting, trying to get any poison out of his finger that he could. After we got pictures, Jonathan went out to let the snake go, and I went out to find some plantain.

After we got some plantain on it, I called the hospital. They said to keep an eye on it and bring him in if the swelling got so bad that it started to constrict his circulation. So we packed up and headed home.

Once home, I went googling for more information. There was so much conflicting information (elevate, don’t elevate; ice, don’t ice, etc) that we decided to check with Poison Control to see what they recommended. They insisted that we needed to get to the ER right away, and since the bite was so close to his bone, Jonathan was more willing than usual to go in. So Dad and Mom Smith came over to be here for the sleeping Blessings, and we headed out for a late night date!

They didn’t really do anything at the ER besides look at him a couple of times. The doctor explained that only in very extreme cases do they use the antivenin, as it can be much more dangerous than the bite itself. So we sat in a freezing cold room for a couple of hours, read, chatted, and waited. After a couple of hours, it was obvious that the swelling was not out of control, and we got to come home. We got home shortly after 5 this morning.

We’re a bit frustrated the Poison Control people were so insistent that we go in right away last night, We could have sat together at home for a couple of hours in a lot more comfort than we had at the ER, and for a lot less money! 🙂 But the Lord knows all about that, so there’s no need for us to fret.

Jonathan’s actually doing pretty well this (to us) morning. His hand is still very tender, but the swelling hasn’t gone past his hand. We have been using some natural remedies, and I think they are making a difference. From what we’ve seen as we’ve explored online, it will likely be a couple of weeks before he is mostly back to normal, and a lot of bruising would be typical. We’re not sure yet what impact the pain and swelling will have on his ability to work, but we’re thankful that he has the weekend to recover somewhat.

Here’s Jonathan’s blog from when we got home this morning.

Thanks for praying!

Unexpected Excitement

Jonathan was bitten by a copperhead snake tonight after our chapel game night.

Here are pictures of the snake and of Jonathan’s hand a few minutes after the bite.

After we got home, I called Poison Control, and on their advice we are headed to the ER as soon as Dad and Mom Smith get here to keep an ear out for the kids. It’s 1:24am.