Life on Garrett Ranch isn’t always as perfect as it can seem. The beauty of a calm morning and beautiful sunrise can be interrupted at any moment by something not so good. I stepped on the wooden landing just outside the front door a few mornings ago and noticed the tracks in the dirt where a large snake had slithered sometime overnight. The problem was that the tracks didn’t lead out from underneath the landing.
I was able to pull the landing away from the door carefully with an old shovel, to find a rattlesnake with a large belly underneath the landing. Some critters here on the ranch can be dangerous. This one is especially hazardous. I managed to kill it with a shotgun and remove it from the vicinity of where I live.
Killing a poisonous snake and moving it far away still doesn’t remove the creepy factor for the hours that follow. I’m sure I’ll be jumpy for a day or two.
With the pecans beginning to drop from the trees, the feral hogs are also moving in a little too close for comfort. Signs of their overnight ruckus could be seen in the disturbed dirt just outside the fence to another home here on the ranch.
Feral hogs can destroy areas of a field in no time flat. They destroyed parts of a yard here on the ranch some years ago. The hogs are not afraid of people, which means a hunter caught in the thick of them without enough ammunition can also be in for a bad day.
There are other dangers on the ranch, such as copperhead snakes and an occasional cottonmouth water moccasin. The copperheads are the most prevalent. I do not recall a summer going by without having a run-in with one or more.
The good news is that all of this is not a dominant part of living on Garrett Ranch. It’s simply a part of life here that requires one to stay somewhat alert to the possibility of the dangers of country living.