Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Friday, October 10, 2008

Odds and Ends

There are several bits and pieces I wanted to post about today, so I thought I would just combine it all into one post.

First off, I am so excited my snake catcher actually works!!!! Yesterday, while working in our little garage (a.k.a. The Snake Pit), my husband spotted a little snake along the wall. Wanting to relocate him to elsewhere so we could continue our cleaning up I ran for the snake catcher, yet unproven. It took just a few minutes with my husband helping to 'herd' him and I was able to lasso him and move him outside and away from all buildings. While the snake catcher actually did work, it could use a few improvements. For one, something to keep the rope from going all the way up in the tube in the case of a miss. Also, even when I had the snake gripped fairly tight (I didn't want to pinch him in half!), he was able to slide about in the rope. But for the most part it was a success, for the snake was relocated fairly easily which was the point.

Secondly, I had been getting some of the inside plants which had summered outside, ready to be brought back indoors for the winter. This involved giving some a haircut and general grooming.

And for others, like these Century Plants, a major overhaul and cleaning out of the offshoots was necessary for aesthetic reasons.

Thirdly, I would like to report on the progress of our little garage. The roof work is complete. On the inside we removed the ceiling boards and old insulation, opening the inside up to the rafters. This was necessary because it was in this ceiling space that birds and snakes lived (probably not in harmony) and it was a big mess. It's much nicer now that it's all open and it's not like it's heated anyway, so the loss of the insulation is not a big deal. In fact, before we tore the ceiling down, we weren't even aware that it was there. Next step was removing a wall of tile which had been adhered to the back block wall at one time. It had since separated from the wall and needed to be chiseled apart before it fell down, causing injury. The space between this tiled wall and the block wall was one of the main places the snakes lived. We found several snake skins when we removed these tiles. With the tiles removed, we found several mortar joints in the block wall which needed to be replaced, so that was the next task. Which catches us up to yesterday, when I was painting the previously unpainted block (what was behind the tiles). We plan on painting the entire inside but wanted to get a primer on the unpainted block first. I used up some primer I found in the basement, leftover from another project and I was able to get the back wall and part of one of the side walls covered. There will be more painting this weekend.

These are the tiles removed from the back wall.

Finally, Fern at Life on the Balcony, is having a contest to guess how many cilantro seeds she collected this year (see picture below). My guess is 98. Click on the link to her blog to find out how you can enter. She is giving away some nice prizes and I hope I win!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Nola said...

I've used snake catchers before. It's like anything else, just takes a little practice. A word of advice, catch the little buggers as close behind the head as possible, then they can't move their heads so easily and turn back and try to strike!

Gail said...

..I haven't seen a snake in my yard in years...They are here, even poisonous ones...we live in harmony. They have their area and I have mine. I do wish they did a better job of chipmunk removal, though!

Cindy, it is so cool that you are becoming a snake charmer!


Cindy said...

Nola ~ yes, I had him at the head but didn't have it pulled tight enough and that's how I got his middle. My technique needs a little work haha.

Gail ~ it's important to live in harmony with nature, now if only the snakes would stop living in harmony with the chipmunks!

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

My FIL is a herpetologist, and he seconds Nola's advice. :-)

Thanks for entering my contest!

Anonymous said...

Glad I don't have to have a snake catcher for my garden. I have mice, squirrels, birds & the occasional rabbit to deal with. Looks like you have some projects in works with the shed & your houseplants. The Century Plants look great after their cleanup. :)

Rose said...

Cindy, You are one brave lady! I wouldn't even set foot in the garage if I'd ever seen a snake there! I've learned to appreciate insects, including worms, which I never liked before, but I draw the line at snakes:) Fortunately, I rarely see any here, and none of them are poisonous.

tina said...

That is a nice looking snake! As snakes go.... Glad the snake catcher worked for you!

joey said...

I can't get past the snake, Cindy! I have been gardening for over 30 years (know they must be around) and yet to see one, thank God, or I would quit! Even at the cottage UP NORTH, I cringe, thinking ... I must admit to being a wimp in that respect. We caught a mouse today in our basement ... enough for me ;) Bless you and your project!

Cindy said...

PGL ~ The snakes do a good job in keeping the mouse population down, if only they could do something about the deer :)

Rose ~ I know he wasn't poisonous so and I kept a safe distance (the snake catcher is very long) so I wasn't too worried. And our garages are detatched so I wasn't worried about him getting into the house. I hope you never have any snakes :)

Tina ~ Thanks! He was a little one, not like that big black snake from earlier in the summer.

Joey ~ I'm sure you wouldn't quit. They're just a creature like a mouse, although a bit more misunderstood. We always find the strength to endure that what we must endure I think.