Year in Review Part 11 – Repeat of Southern Texas Survival Kit

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This is the original post from March, word for word. If you’ve read it, you might want to skip it. Word Press won’t let me post the new post I wrote yesterday but I think it will let me publish old ones (I’ll know in a minute).

There’s no tech support for WP until Jan. 3rd so I may just re-post a few of the originals until then.

March 22, 2011

It’s in the mid 80’s every day. Where I come from, that’s summer even if this is only the second day of Spring.

The 7 items pictured above are the essential ingredients for a Southern Texas Survival Kit.

1. A round rock

Find a nice round rock, about the size of a baseball. This can be thrown at virtually all threatening things

2. Wasp spray

The first thing we were told to get when we arrived in Tilden back in December was that if we didn’t have a shot gun, we’d better be buying some Wasp spray.We have 4 cans, strategically placed.

One can is in the Jeep. Today I went into town to pick up a few things. Since it was 86 degrees and the freon has pretty much all eased it’s way out of the Jeep, I put the windows down while I filled up 10 gallon jugs of water. In the 5 minutes this took, 2 wasps took up residence in the front seat. It never occurred to me I’d need Wasp spray for wasps. I bought it for scary people and other kinds of snakes. I considered giving the wasps a squirt, but I had to question the wisdom of streaming it that close to my face if that is indeed how intend to fend of unwanted visitors carrying large backpacks and various snakes. I fanned them with a paper plate

3. The round rock in driftwood catapult

This needs to be a pretty precise fit: snug enough to stay in place during the back-swing and loose enough to leave the wood and hurl towards your target. The catapult gives range the wood alone doesn’t have and force throwing the rock bare-handed lacks. The disadvantage is that round rocks roll so practice rounds can be grueling.

4. Spider spray

Twice, black widows crept out of our generator when we were checking the oil back in Shiner. I think the spray would most likely be ineffectual on tarantulas so, hopefully they’ll live up to their shy reputation and just go away on their own and the brown recluse will stay reclusive.

5. A long handled hoe

Today, Jerry and Kathy (our landlords)  came by in their 4-wheeler. While talking yesterday, they casually mentioned  the 6 Copperheads the guys killed at the rig site 3 miles east yesterday. Earlier, JoJo  told us about the Bull snake he chased under our barb-wire fence and  Kevin stopped by to tell us he killed a 3 foot Rattlesnake at our site.

Jerry and Kathy asked what everyone asks: Do we have a gun? No, I said, but we have Wasp spray! They stopped by today with a garden hoe. Heidi’s Grandma always killed snakes with garden hoes and she had lots of guns. This is a very long handled hoe, which is good because ordinarily, a rattlesnake strike can cover a distance of between 1/3 and 1/2 of it’s length. The gate guard a mile up the road killed a 5 1/2 footer. I re-read the Wasp can. It doesn’t mention snakes but does mention scorpions(that’s good) and tent caterpillars.

6. A camera

Besides the obvious attacker identification (they like to know which kind of pit viper bite it was or what the backpack looked like), a camera is also an effective weapon. Last night I heard a considerable racket outside (on the dark side) of the RV. I found a flashlight bright enough to cut through the pitch blackness of the undergrowth to find that I had not 1 but 2 nocturnal visitors.

Raccoon, afraid of the flash, falling off the barbed-wire fence

Just a couple of days before, Heidi had decided to try to draw some of the cardinals and chickadees to the fence line. It’s a jungle of mesquite and live oak all around us so it provides a natural habitat for quite a variety of birds, and others things. The cardinals have come, along with a pair of morning doves, a raccoon and a wild pig.

I found taking flash photos of the raccoon to be very effect. Every time he came back, I’d just shoot a picture in the dark and he’d fall off the barb-wire fence and run. He only came back twice and the feeders are now taking their place in the Jeep at night.

7. A creepy pig on a fence post carcass

To get rid of crows, they sometimes shoot a few and put the dead ones in the trees to scare away the rest of the flock. I don’t know if this same principle holds true with wild pigs and boars. The difficulty lies in finding decaying pigs to borrow.

8. A watch dog

In my case, Henry is a bull dog. He has acquired a great dislike for bulls. He lies down in front of the door(inside) and gives his best low guttural growl, which the bulls never hears, and 1 loud bark which the bulls ignore. At that point he considers his job done and proudly waits for praise and a treat.

If you have a shotgun,  you can throw out everything but the spider spray ( a shotgun would be over-kill) and, of course, you’ll want to keep your dog .

Yes, I Have a Gun – JIC

Because Vicky asked and because I promised Mike a short post on this topic since reading Fork caused him to go into overage charges with AT&T, here’s why I have a gun. I’m not really the gun type, I have a gun, Just In Case (JIC).

Not being an expert myself,  I’m including some quotes from others on this topic.

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. ~ Al Capone

The Gun.

In England, if you commit a crime, the police don’t have a gun and you don’t have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say “Stop, or I’ll say stop again.” ~ Robin Williams

I don’t know about England, but this is Texas folks and everyone has a gun, or 5 or 6. For me, it’s a part of being a pretend Texan. If you’re a regular reader, you know it’s just a BB gun. A co2 powered BB gun, but still, just a BB gun. You have to admit though, it looks impressive.

You know that old  saying “If looks could kill” ? Well, it applies here, since only its’ looks could kill. It might sting, though.

Remember the first rule of gunfighting… “have a gun.” ~ Jeff Cooper

Since moving to Texas, we’ve been told repeatedly to get a gun. I’ve discussed the logistical problem of this in previous posts. So I have a kind of pretend gun. I’ve never shot anything with it except a Pepsi can.

I’m not a natural with a gun. What I am is naturally clumsy, which combined with a gun, is awkward at best. For example, there was the time that Heidi was having, what seemed to be, a tense conversation with a tough looking character. I thought I’d just nonchalantly stroll by with Henry and make sure things were OK.

I stuck the gun in the back of my jeans like they do on TV.  OK – I have no idea what compelled me to do that, but it wasn’t a great plan. Did I mention that I’m clumsy. Halfway down the two steps, the gun fell right out of my pants, scaring Henry before tumbling under the RV. By that time, Heidi and the fellow were laughing and chatting, oblivious to my intended intervention.

The only other time I’ve even touched the gun, except for an occasional caliche dusting, was during my 3rd straight night of a several pickups loads of  locals pulling up just outside the gate, hollering and hooting and tossing beer cans. I was possibly too tired because I headed right for the gate with the BB gun in one hand and the camera snapping shots in the other. They peeled away. I think this was mostly due to the fact that a semi-deranged looking woman was taking pictures of their license plates.

We rely on more than just a BB gun for protection. This is the  JUST IN CASE (JIC) closet just inside the door. It contains, from left to right LOWER LEVEL: ant traps, mouse traps, a toolbox, dog treats, THE GUN, wasp spray, 2 flashlights and a box of garbage bags. UPPER LEVEL: Oregon calendar, camera, Henry’s leash, keys, fly swatter, more keys, mace, binoculars and a coach’s whistle.

So, there you have it.

We’re prepared JUST IN CASE we have an onslaught, in correlating order, of:  ants, mice, stubborn nails, visiting dogs (sales people and ranchers often bring their dogs), hooting and hollering folks, wasps or bees or hooting and hollering folks, things that move in the dark, reckless pieces of lost trash, homesickness (calendar), raccoons (camera cure), armadillos (the leash to keep Henry from chasing them), losing keys, flies, losing the other keys, inebriated late night callers, far away things that need identifying before reaching for any of the other JIC items and I’m not quite sure when we’d use the whistle for, but it seemed like a good idea.

Mike and Vicky –  I hope this was helpful and remember:

A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles. ~ Mignon McLaughlin

Year in Review Part 11 – Southern Texas Survival Kit

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This is post is word for word the orginal – so if you’ve read it, you might want to skip it. Word Press won’t let me post the new post I wrote yesterday, but seems to like this one written on back in March just fine.

There’s no tech support for WP until Jan. 3rd so I may just re-post a few of the old ones until then.

 

It’s in the mid 80’s every day. Where I come from, that’s summer even if this is only the second day of Spring.

The 7 items pictured above are the essential ingredients for a Southern Texas Survival Kit.

1. A round rock

Find a nice round rock, about the size of a baseball. This can be thrown at virtually all threatening things

2. Wasp spray

The first thing we were told to get when we arrived in Tilden back in December was that if we didn’t have a shot gun, we’d better be buying some Wasp spray.We have 4 cans, strategically placed.

One can is in the Jeep. Today I went into town to pick up a few things. Since it was 86 degrees and the freon has pretty much all eased it’s way out of the Jeep, I put the windows down while I filled up 10 gallon jugs of water. In the 5 minutes this took, 2 wasps took up residence in the front seat. It never occurred to me I’d need Wasp spray for wasps. I bought it for scary people and other kinds of snakes. I considered giving the wasps a squirt, but I had to question the wisdom of streaming it that close to my face if that is indeed how intend to fend of unwanted visitors carrying large backpacks and various snakes. I fanned them with a paper plate.

3. Driftwood

A good sturdy piece of driftwood, or if you don’t have ocean access, any hard wood will do. The key to the ideal piece of wood is the gradual narrowing, providing a club like handle.

4. Spider spray

Twice black widows crept out of our generator when we were checking the oil back in Shiner. I think the spray would most likely be ineffectual on tarantulas so, hopefully they’ll live up to their shy reputation and just go away on their own and the brown recluse will stay reclusive.

5. A long handled hoe

Today, Jerry and Kathy (our landlords)  came by in their 4-wheeler. While talking yesterday, they casually mentioned  the 6 Copperheads the guys killed at the  rig site 3 miles east yesterday. Earlier, JoJo  told us about the Bull snake he chased under our barb-wire fence and  Kevin stopped by to tell us he killed a 3 foot Rattlesnake at our site.

Jerry and Kathy asked what everyone asks: Do we have a gun? No, I said, but we have Wasp spray! They stopped by today with a garden hoe. Heidi’s Grandma always killed snakes with garden hoes and she had lots of guns. This is a very long handled hoe, which is good because ordinarily, a rattlesnake strike can cover a distance of between 1/3 and 1/2 of it’s length. The gate guard a mile up the road killed a 5 1/2 footer. I re-read the Wasp can. It doesn’t mention snakes but does mention scorpions(that’s good) and tent caterpillars.

6. A camera

Besides the obvious attacker identification (they like to know which kind of pit viper bite it was or what the backpack looked like), a camera is also an effective weapon. Last night I heard a considerable racket outside (on the dark side) of the RV. I found a flashlight bright enough to cut through the pitch blackness of the undergrowth to find that I had not 1 but 2 nocturnal visitors.

Raccoon, afraid of the flash, falling off the barbed-wire fence

Just a couple of days before, Heidi had decided to try to draw some of the cardinals and chickadees to the fence line. It’s a jungle of mesquite and live oak all around us so it provides a natural habitat for quite a variety of birds, and others things. The cardinals have come, along with a pair of morning doves, a raccoon and a wild pig.

I found taking flash photos of the raccoon to be very effect. Every time he came back, I’d just shoot a picture in the dark and he’d fall off the barb-wire fence and run. He only came back twice and the feeders are now taking their place in the Jeep at night.

6. A creepy pig on a fence post carcass

To get rid of crows, they sometimes shoot a few and put the dead ones in the trees to scare away the rest of the flock. I don’t know if this same principle holds true with wild pigs and boars. The difficulty lies in finding decaying pigs to borrow.

7. The round rock in driftwood catapult

This needs to be a pretty precise fit: snug enough to stay in place during the back-swing and loose enough to leave the wood and hurl towards your target. The catapult gives range the wood alone doesn’t have and force throwing the rock bare-handed lacks. The disadvantage is that round rocks roll so practice rounds can be grueling.

8. A watch dog

In my case, Henry is a bull dog. He has acquired a great dislike for bulls. He lies down in front of the door(inside) and gives his best low guttural growl, which the bulls never hears, and 1 loud bark which the bulls ignore. At that point he considers his job done and proudly waits for praise and a treat.

If you have a shotgun,  you can throw out everything but the spider spray ( a shotgun would be over-kill) and, of course, you’ll want to keep your dog .