This post is about the Garden that is part of the Errea House Museum. The Garden is lovingly cared for by volunteers of the Tehachapi Heritage League. There is a vegetable garden with heirloom varieties you seldom see anymore. Herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and sage grace the section dedicated to culinary plants. There is a bit of whimsy and history scattered throughout the garden - a lovely place to visit.
10 August 2010
Driving down the road from our house we get the daily opportunity to see our neighbors collection of unusual farm animals. I fell in love with this particular farm when we first starting visiting here. It is a new scene every time you drive by. Morning and evenings, the animals are very active and during the day it seems everyone is "napping". They have alpaca (in various colors), long horn cattle and bison. Today I'll talk a little about the bison. There is a male, female and their calf. The parents stay very close to this little one - he (or she) is never out of their sight. One time I saw someone stop by the side of the road to take a picture and I saw the male bison charge the hapless photographer. They are beautiful, massive animals. When I stopped to take my pictures all three of the bison were resting in the tall grass - I realized how massive they really are when I saw them up close. Some facts about the American Bison from Wikipedia:
A bison has a shaggy, long, dark brown winter coat, and a lighter weight, lighter brown summer coat. Bison can reach up to 6 feet 6 inches (2 m) tall, 10 feet (3 m) long, and weigh 900 to 2,200 pounds. The biggest specimens on record have weighed as much as 2,500 pounds. pounds. The heads and forequarters are massive, and both sexes have short, curved horns, which they use in fighting for status within the herd and for defense.
Bison are herbivores, grazing on the grasses and sedges of the North American prairies. They eat in the morning and evening, and rest during the day. Bison mate in August and September; gestation is 285 days. A single reddish-brown calf, born the following spring, nurses for a year. Bison are mature at three years of age, and have a life expectancy of approximately 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity.
For the first three months of life, juveniles are lighter in color than mature bison. One very rare condition is the white buffalo, in which the calf turns entirely white. White bison are considered sacred by many Native Americans.
atrox - fierce, savage - referring to the sometimes savage disposition of this species
I hadn't intended that my first post would be about snakes - but circumstances changed that. Two weeks ago on a Sunday (June 6th to be exact) we had our first rattlesnake visit. As I was looking out the kitchen window I noticed some squirrels behaving strangely - they were frozen in place and moving their tails from side to side. I took a second look and noticed a snake sliding by. He (the snake) didn't seem to notice them. I took a video of him and didn't think anything more about it. My snake philosophy was "live and let live". He wasn't bothering me - so why should I bother him? I didn't think anything more about it until about an hour later, I was outside walking the dogs on a leash - before I knew it Annie (our Terrier) and I practically walked on top of this "sleeping" snake. I yanked on her leash and she gave a small "yelp". I didn't see him strike her and brought her inside. I checked her over and she seemed find. I went outside to try to identify the snake. I still didn't know if it was a rattlesnake or not. He was still in the same spot, coiled up. About twenty minutes later, we checked on Annie, L. said she was acting strange and holding her tail between her legs. I felt her all over and I could now feel two bite marks on her hip. L. went to get the neighbors for help. I got on the phone looking for an emergency animal hospital. The nearest one was 45 minutes away. I got in the truck and rushed her there. As we drove, I prayed we would make it. Annie laid on the floor of the truck and looked at me with the most sorrowful eyes. Meanwhile, the neighbor killed the snake with a shovel while L. looked on. I arrived at the Vet's and they took her in immediately. I learned later that rattlesnakes choose to "envenom" their victims (or not) - that is what happened to Annie. For whatever reason that snake bit her without injecting his venom.