The first time I saw the barn was in the middle of winter, when Atlanta actually had a rare dusting of snow on the ground. Despite the fact the property sat vacant for years, and that the barn was filthy, I was still drawn to its charm.
The water line had been cut, the stalls were growing plants, rat poop was piled high – but it had so much potential. We were oblivious, however, to the horrors that awaited us in the barn.
It started with a few ancient carcasses. Eh, no biggie, at least they were fully dead. Then we found the half eaten rabbit that was very fresh – a bit more concerning. Then came the 5 foot rat snake. OK, he’s a good snake, we let that slide (or slither)… even though I wanted to crawl out of my skin. We learned very fast not to leave anything laying around or a mama rat would make a nest in it. But to top it all off, once Spring arrived we discovered the property is crawling with poison ivy! Thankfully the goats love it!
We thought to ourselves, this is what we signed up for, this is the farm life. Things at the house weren’t perfect either. Our master shower leaked into the basement, the HVAC broke, the furnace exhaust pipe fell through to the basement, much of the basement flooded from a storm, and the collection of spiders down there would be the ideal cast for a Stephen King mini series. But then the real horror reared it’s ugly head… We were playing host to a family of Copperhead snakes!
The copperheads live under the feed room concrete slab. For weeks my toddler and I had been walking over the threshold where they hang out midday. So far we have been able to remove 1 of them, but we know there are a few more. Our copperhead story is not over yet, so don’t worry, I will keep you posted.
Today the barn is full of life and houses the animals we have grown to love. Our daughter yells “BARN!” every morning before heading down for chores. It’s hard to imagine all the horrors we’ve dealt with and are still dealing with when I look at the old barn. Nonetheless, it remains my favorite place.
Next up . . . predator losses & barn cats!