Here I was born, raised and still live today! When my parents first moved here this area was called Copperhead Ridge due to overabundance of Copperhead snakes which my Dad and Uncle cleared many during the first couple years. In fact, my Dad killed one that was an inch shy of the record in Missouri at that time around 41 or 42 inches. A man at his work fixed the skin on wooden plaque and I still have it hanging in my house. As you might guess, my Dad’s nickname was Copperhead where he worked for 35 years. The fact he was a redheaded green eyed Irishman I’m sure helped too. So even though Copperhead Ridge may seem like an unlikely place to raise Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, it’s a sentimental choice for me.
As a precaution I had some bulldozing done to clear the rock piles (and snake habitat) while making way for my Goat pens. However, on occasion I’m reminded of how I grew up as the other day when I turned to see a Copperhead raised in the strike position a little over three feet away. I was wishing the old black snake from my childhood was still here. He seemed like he was twelve foot or better as it sunned itself on a limb of a huge old Maple tree in our front yard. Oddly enough, it made us kids feel safe; as no other snake was allowed in “it’s” yard. Nature has a way of working things out!
The trees that were planted as little sticks 30 yrs ago now stand 40 ft high and my parents have long since passed (far too young I might add), but I feel very blessed to live here. It would be hard for me not to be when everywhere I step or look holds a lifetime of beautiful memories. Of course some memories are sad as I lost my Mom in the house I live in now which sets where my Grandma’s trailer was when I was kid and my Dad much earlier in the old farmhouse where I’ve now built the pole barn for the goats. Life is a circle and now it’s my turn to take the reins. I trust their spirits rest easy and now watch over me like the old black snake that protected us kids in the yard. I find much comfort living on such hallowed ground, but mostly I’m hoping my Dad is looking over my little goats; protecting them from Copperheads on Copperhead Ridge!