Snakes Alive!!!

Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
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Trip End Nov 08, 2007


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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It was the kids first week back at school. Ian took the day off work in honour of our arrival, so Ian, Debbie, Chris and Tina headed west to a tourist enterprise called Fearrington Farms, about 45 mins away from Raleigh. This obviously started out as a large working farm, complete with stately old farm house, barn and silos, but recently someone with a lot of marketing smarts came along. Now it's a range of upmarket shops, a high end inn, fancy restaurants and cafes centering around the original farm house (now a five star restaurant) and barn (now a rustic, with all amenities, wedding etc reception area). And most of the farm and surrounding area is now massive residential development. Its quite renown for the gardens in and around the commercial areas and they certainly were lovely - but huge amounts of work... and water! The small area still farmed is really just for the tourists - stocked with belted Galloway cattle and some "belted" goats to match.

We had a reasonably relaxed afternoon and decided to have a real down home North Carolina dinner that night - Pulled Pork on buns with coleslaw and salad. The Pulled Pork, the buns and the coleslaw we bought at the supermarket, but the salad we were going to make with fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden that Ian and Matt had made. So Tina headed out to the garden to pick. Only to find a snake tangled in the bird netting! It wasn't a huge snake - about 3 foot long and only about an inch thick and black - but its head was narrower than his body and when he had slithered though the netting, he'd got jammed about a foot past his head, then got jammed in even more. Poor thing - it was a real mess and the bird netting was tight around him in a couple of places.

Then the whole thing turned into a very dramatic wildlife rescue. While Ian and his neighbour Elizabeth cut the snake free with scissors, Tina held its head in a net and a cloth (cos it was not a happy snake and the foot of it that was free of the netting kept trying to bite anyone close!). Finally free of the netting, we all leapt back as the snake shot off (at incredible speed for something that doesn't have any legs) back into the garden. All very exciting and totally worthy of a Steve Irwin doco "these beeuwdiful criiters are eekstreeemely dangerous". Chris got some great movies. Look for us next on Animal Planet......

And finally Tina could pick the tomatoes! (Which were yummy - however NC BBQ pork is definitely an acquired taste)
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