Sunday to Monday night we caught possums (one twice or two) at the water feature (sunken kiddie pool). I needed dirt so i dug from where the bigger pool is to be. Just a nibble at the larger project.
We've had rain. I have an okra, and feel i can expect actual okra harvesting and the sweet potatoes look to be doing OK.
At about sunset -- long after the yard had been engulfed in shadow -- Carrie got Marlowe's press release that she had prey in the orchard. I don't know how they communicate, but it is remarkable how suddenly Carrie knows Marlowe has got something. I don't get these press releases, so my first signal is Carrie wanting out, NOW! I scan, looking for deer and Marlowe, and saw Marlowe engaged with something. Because she didn't have the prey, i quickly guessed snake, and as i came out with Carrie, i could see Marlowe was jumping back before menacing. I returned for my shoes and came off the deck.
So, i loudly called for Christine to get the animals out of harm's way while i went to go get my glorious hoe. Marlowe was tossed inside, but Carrie was still in the yard, evading Christine, when i was back. I shouted -- i think i did a lot of shouting -- to just keep her away, and i chopped the snake nearly in half. The front half kept moving, looking for something to strike. It was horrific: how long would it keep moving? I worried about how mobile it would be when i withdrew the blade (which was well embedded in the soil). Ensuring Christine and Carrie were well clear, i chopped again, and it seemed more still. I found the shovel at hand to use to remove it, and even then the tail twitched. I carried it to the same place i had disposed of the snake Christine killed some years ago and left it, hoping it would return its energies to the scavengers.
Christine didn't need this worry with me going away later in July, and she went and scattered the snake repellent around the perimeter today.
We'd discussed that the fenced zone for the cats and us was a zone where we cannot tolerate copperheads, so i am not feeling significant guilt at having to kill it. I wish we could live in harmony with all creatures, but yellow jackets and copperheads are just a bit too much a threat where the cats and Carrie can engage with them.
Three copperheads in five years isn't being overrun. The second copperhead was a very small one, so small i mistook it for a harmless snake and handled it a little more casually than i would if i had known.
In health complaints, i threw out my back Saturday morning. It was GORGEOUS weather outside, and i was quite forlorn that i was not moving easily. Also, throat still magnificently uncomfortable. I am a bundle of complaints. Gah.
I ended up stumbling across the Experimental Farm Network website and bought some experimental seeds -- blends of chicories, of kales with perennial genetics, of endives. I'm letting collards, mustards, cabbages, and kales go to seed and am spreading the seeds around the garden: I've hopes of getting my own plants that return and return going. My potato (multiplier) onions went to seed: i'm hoping to get volunteers there, too.
I watched Gettysburg with Christine, catching large parts that i've missed in her past annual viewings. (I'd seen the Little Round Top battle multiple times, but seemed to have missed Pickett's Charge.)
Family gather in the afternoon, with my just-a-little-competitive nephew presenting the Eagle Grandparent pin to my parents -- he'd gotten Eagle as a middle schooler.
I got outside (finally, after babying my back and resting all weekend). I finally potted up some tiny seedlings Euonymus americanus (hearts-a-bustin), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (New York aster), Baptisia australis (Blue false indigo), Iris virginica var shrevei (Southern Blue Flag), and Callirhoe involucrata (Purple Poppy Mallow) that had been coping in little dirt for months since sprouting this spring. I also had Rhexia virginica (meadowbeauty) and a few Callirhoe involucrata that i had started from seed in 2020 and had been languishing in little seed packs. Oh, and some mint, probably anise hyssop. I know that the seeds in the dirt might still germinate -- of the twenty different species i'd tried to start only six species had made a start. The New York aster germinated like mad. I'd started the flat with generally 16 seeds per row -- only three blue flags, three hearts-a-bustin, two wax myrtles had germinated. I tried putting the flat soil at the top of the new pots, hoping that if they germinate next spring i will have a chance to rescue them.