Here at Mountaineers Books, we love the outdoors; The beauty, the majesty, the details.
But not all of nature is wonderful and postcard-esque. Parts of nature are poisonous, aggressive, and downright jerks. This little post celebrates those jerks, and the little details that make their jerk-dom so love-hatingly impressive.
1. A dead, even decapitated, pit viper can still bite and inject poison reflexively up to one hour after death. This should further reinforce the notion to not approach poisonous snakes.
Oh, the most common (human) profiles of pit viper bites in the US? The intoxicated, 17-27 year old male who intentionally approached the pit viper. Again, don’t go around challenging poisonous snakes, brah.
2. The small and furry Jumping Spider is so aggressive that often times, a victim will walk into an emergency room with the spider still attached — probably because you’d get kicked out of the waiting room when you wave around a furry ball of spite-incarnate on your arm.
3. Scorpions glow when exposed to ultra-violet light, like black lights. Whether or not scorprions are fans of techno-themed rave parties are yet to be verified, but they are now that much worse if they are.
4. Mosquitos bite men more often than female, adults more often than children, and overweight people rather than underweight. Well, of course they do.
5. Killer bees are actually near relatives of honeybees and the honeybees’ much better branding. Killer bees actually inject less venom per sting than the honeybee. Yet, approximately 60 deaths per year are caused by killer bees because of their low patience threshold, readiness to attack en masse,
leaves behind no witnesses, and sheer determination in chasing down victims for great distances.
Adapted from Don’t Get Bitten by Buck Tilton, M.S.
Goats are, in the academic opinion of this author, awesome-sauce. Granted, raising a goat in a studio apartment in the city may take more effort than keeping a goldfish alive (R.I.P. Captain Googly-eyes. You were the winds beneath my wings), so here’s some tips for you to raise your future herd.
1. Goats are not, as legends go, nature’s lawnmowers on hooves. To be sure, they’ll strip your bushes and plants clean, and leave behind a beautiful jumble of foliage-less bramble. What they won’t do is graze upon your lawn in an organized, mathematically-geometric manner. What they will do, instead, is nibble here and there on seemingly random whims.
2. Goats love to jump on things. Down from things. Up on top of things. Butt other goats to keep other goats from jumping atop things. Keep your goat entertained by having platforms to jump on/from/off/to/down. And seriously, what is cuter than seeing a kid hop about on your home-made crate-and-boxes jungle gym?
Just remember not to put your structures too close to your walls, or risk your goat busting out of their pen.
3. Goats have four stomachs. The rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. Of the four, the rumen is the primary stomach, acting as a fermentation vat where bacteria break down the nutrients in leaves, grass, and whatever else your goat consumed. It will be constantly in use. Thus, a good way to determine the health of your goat is to listen to the rumbling of the rumen — if you hear fewer than three rumbles a minute, it is a good idea to seek help immediately. Goats can’t survive long without a healthy rumen.
4. If you are starting out, always get at least two goats. Goats are herd animals, and having a companion is essential to their behavior. A single, lonely goat is going to stress the goat out, and a stressful goat is a troublesome goat who are more prone to disease and sickness.
Goats could get along with other animals, but goats like other goats best. Sheep and horses can keep a goat company, and a dog is a little bit iffy (especially if the dog spends a lot of time indoors). They don’t have to be the same breed. You can have a milking goat paired with a smaller, much more size-manageable goat like African Pygmies (this is your cue to Google “African Pygmies.” You are very welcome).
5. Goats can handle a night of freezing temperatures pretty well, but heat is not their specialty. A good idea is to have a spot in your goat’s pen that is always shaded.
A tree may seem like a natural choice (pun intended), but a goat will carefully, slowly, methodically nibble on the tree until the tree can’t survive. A trick is to wrap the tree trunk in material the goat can’t eat through (hardware cloth, for example). A goat may still get at the hanging branches, but with a large enough tree, it should be able to survive and adapt.
Adapted from City Goats, by Jennie P. Grant