When you live in the city five acres seems like a lot of land. I can testify, I own more land than any other friend I have in the city. However, seeing as how I have met people out here that own a thousand acres… my five acres screams, “city slicker”. Land out here is willed from generation to generation. I find it amazing that they would have a fortune if they could sell the land. Yet they can only afford to put a double wide on it (and possibly several car’s worth of parts). It reminds me of the people in the city who buy the enormous houses but then have empty rooms because they can’t afford to furnish them.
When we originally came to see this house I marveled at the wildlife (dead coyote in front of the house) and the diversity of the insects. I remember distinctly walking around and staring at the brightly colored, extra large moths and the swarms of dragonflies. I took a deep breath of the air that seemed cleaner, based solely on the presence of such beauty, and walked through a spider web. This, of course, as it would most city girls, sent me running rubbing my hands through my hair in an attempt to dislodge any arachnids that might decide to suddenly take up residence. The thought that ran through my head at that moment, and every other moment after (that was prefaced with a face full of spider web) for that first month, was…. I am not cut out for country life.
When we moved in we made a few important purchases. Two of which topped the list. 1. A riding lawn mower. 2. Fencing to enclose the majority of the property. At this point of my country existence I had overcome the fear of spiderweb facials and thus was excited to mow the “vast kingdom” for my first time ever. “I am not cut out for country life” had not been a phrase that I had uttered in some time and as I sat on the lawnmower and took off, I sang, out loud, all of the lyrics to Green Acres that I knew. I felt positively chipper. Row after row I mowed, and the whole while I belted out various stanzas but by the 18th round of, “I get allergic smelling hay” I was now hot and unhappy plus there was a horrible stench in the air. I pushed on, now tired of singing Green Acres but having already sang the versus so many times; I couldn’t rid myself of the song, it was stuck. After an additional 15 minutes I finally stopped and stared, dumbfounded, at the mower. Why did it smell like death? I surveyed the land to no avail. I knew, something was laying in wait for me but I simply could not see where. More time went on, and I began to wonder if I couldn’t just leave the stinky section of the yard for later. If, by chance, my husband might not notice the corner, near the front was left unmowed. Then I saw it. A turtle. I was struck silent in the middle of, “Green acres is the place for me. Farm livin’ is the life for me. ”
*Turtles, no matter how many friends they have, no matter how great the pond, no matter the food supply, or the free massages on Sundays…. they like to roam. (There is a fun fact for you.) Who would have known that with the installation of our new fence we would inadvertently kill off our entire turtle population.*
I once had a friend that wanted to make a calendar featuring “road kill”. Having since seen this idea on the internet. I know that there are at least two people in this world who think that it would be a funny. The reason she never seemed to follow through with it was, she couldn’t come up with 12 different animals that she could find splattered on the street. Now that I am a country dweller I see that it is all cyclical. There are times of the year that you see primarily skunks dead, a time of the year when it is primarily raccoons, etc. Today, I started thinking and trying to come up with my own list of 12 different varieties of animals, I or my husband, has seen dead in the last year or two. The list includes: raccoon, armadillo, possum, coyote, skunk, bird, dog, wild pig (three at the same time), snake, horse, a cow and of course turtle. I was with my friend one time when she took a picture of a dead beaver. I have yet to see one of those out here.