October 2014


When I was out in the backyard today, watching out for snakes and preparing to do pooper scooper duties for our four dogs out there with me, I had what may be the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had. Or it may be a pile os shit, I’m not sure. Just because it seemed inspirational to me, doesn’t mean it actually is a fantastic, or even a good, idea.

That’s why I’m putting the idea ‘out there’ hoping some one far cleverer than is able to follow up on it. So this is the background to my idea. I am the owner of four dogs – one aging standard schnauzer, and one oldish pharaoh hound and her two children, a boy and a girl from her two litters of puppies. The dogs are all medium sized dogs, with the usual habits of their breeds. We love them and care about them. But with four dogs, poop is an issue you can’t ignore.

And we live out in the country, to the north of Adelaide in the Mallala district. It’s a lovely place to live, but heat can be a problem, and of course flies can be a problem too. I am so sick of having to wave flies away, out of my eyes, my nose, my mouth. I am so over flies!

So my idea was that it would be wonderful if we could feed something that was not toxic to our dogs, that when they pooped, the resulting product was super-sticky, and any flies that landed on it couldn’t get away. Then, when one of us picks up the poop and puts it in the poop bucket, the flies can’t secape and they go in there too, to be thrown into the pit dug for the purpose of disposal of said poop.

So, what do others think? It would certainly decrease the number of flies in our backyard, and that would be a great thing. Any scientists out there able to give it some thought? I sure hope so!

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Well, this warmer change is certainly nice, and the likelihood of a swim in our pool has risen. But with warmer weather of spring and summer, where I live, come snakes.

BrownSnake_Australia

This is a brown snake and looks like the one that lost its life in our backyard this morning. The main difference between the two is that the one in the backyard no longer had its head attached to its body. One of our dogs, the youngest one – Missy – had been playing with the snake. My husband got his hoe and cut its head off. So the snake was dead, and had almost stopped moving when I first saw it. I think it would have stopped moving now, it’s in a lidded container.

Missy wasn’t entirely triumphant though. She may have damaged the snake, but the snake bit her. We rushed her to the closest vet clinic, and we’re hoping they can save her. It’s not a definite thing, it depends on how her body reacts to the treatment she’s getting. And if she gets worse, the cost will go up and up, until it may get the stage where we can’t afford any more treatment and have to let her go. I truly hope that doesn’t happen, it’s the cruelest decision a person with a pet ever has to make…

At the moment, I’m thinking about ways to cover our vet bill, and hoping to make it through without too much stress, financial or emotional. And worrying about poor Missy, who certainly bit off a lot more than she’d realised.

If every back yard needs at least one dog, and some trees, then every back veranda needs a comfy seat from which to contemplate Nature. Nature comes in many shapes and forms. Dogs and trees are two of those forms. There are also insects, birds and grass. Plants of all kinds can be there too, and maybe even cats and reptiles of several different kinds.

It’s best not to have snakes, in my opinion, and the opinion of most Australians, I would think. In Australia, lots of the snakes can kill you if they bite you. I certainly don’t like to see those potential killers in my backyard. My dogs have been known to attack these killer snakes (brown snakes). Well, they caught one and bit it in half, one summer, killing it (obviously) and remaining safe themselves.

The dogs seem to have a particular hatred for reptiles and if they see one in the yard, they’ll kill it, or at least damage in ebough that is stops moving. My poor husband has had to put several lizards out of their agony. It’s not a job he likes doing, but it’s for the best …

My own task in the backyard is to perform occasional pooper scooper duties, and to sit out there on the comfortable sofa, and to just be with Nature. This ‘being with Nature’ is an informal meditation, just being there, in the present moment, while Nature goes on its own way – the clouds, the birds, the trees and other plants, and of course our four dogs, and other creatures. At the moment, one creature that has made a visual impact on the back yard have been ants. We have a trail now that mid-sized ants have created by following a path from one side of the yard to the other side, and beyond.

I have no idea what made them start along the trail, but thousands of them are tramping along the trail, all day every day. I wish I could ask them about it!

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