Saturday, April 26, 2008

Snake in the Grass

When these little guys (Noisy Miners) make a fuss, something is invariably wrong. They have a high pitched tree-top alarm which usually marks the arrival of a hawk or a crow and a strange whoop whooping alarm when something such as a Blue Tongue Lizard is creeping along the lawn and yet another shrill alarm when humans or dogs are about, but today . . I heard quite a different sound as if they were gritting invisible teeth and chattering through them. I hadn't heard it before so I grabbed the camera and went to investigate. When Lily refused to come with me I wondered why!


See anything just over my neighbour's fence? It was lying still with it's head slightly raised.

I didn't have my zoom so this was as close as I was prepared to go with thongs on!


Cropped and trimmed . . . a fine looking juvenille. Apparently they grow up to 1.5 metres . . well I'm sorry but this guy was easily 2 metres. He's a red bellied black snake sporting shiny new skin and enjoying the first glimpse of sunshine we've had for two weeks . . . someone should tell him he should be getting ready to hibernate! He is poisonous. they are among the most common species on the Eastern Seaboard and enjoy wetlands, creeks and lakes. We we rarely see them although we know they're there. It's shiny black on top with a distinctive red underbelly. This one is displaying a salmon pink because his skin is 'new'. Apparently, it's preferred diet is frogs which may also explain why he's out and about after all the rain and they give birth to up to 20 live young. I went back with the zoom to get some better shots but he heeded the warning of my approach (couldn't have been the birds because snakes are deaf) and did a runner by the time I'd got back. . . must check the swimming pool . . .

12 comments:

Brianf said...

Why didn't you put the camera down and kill the mug? First thing I thought of when I saw the photo was, Hello Mr. Belt or Hello, my new wallet.

Babysis said...

Well I'll be....been a while since you've seen a snake over there. I thought we were the only lucky ones - at least ours are green and not black! Biggun too!

On another note, caught a rat today red handed, we loved the sight of him caught in the trap with cheese in his mouth!

Hey, put ol "blacky" up in yur roof! That'll sort them out!

Nick said...

Phew, glad we don't have any of those critturs round here! The only poisonous things hereabouts are some of those tasty-looking mushrooms that should absolutely not be picked and eaten.

Baino said...

Brianf: They're protected, they're docile and not everything that walks needs to be made into an accessory . . . I so hope you're joking!

Babysis: Sorry didn't make it round this morning, I got into a cleaning frenzy but I'll be over tomorrow. Beauty eh? He'd done a runner by the time I grabbed the zoom. All is quiet on the rat front. . . no stinky bits (haha maybe they've gone over to the Dunny side!)

Nick: It's very unusual because we're surrounded by the burbs but they live happily in creeks and waterways. I've only ever seen three in 20 years. The recent rain after 5 years of complete drought I suspect is bringing them out. They will run rather than linger. Thanks for the miners, they sound the alarm whenever anything is untoward. He was particularly beautiful actually . .look out froggies. As a friend of mine from Ireland once said "What's it like living in a country where everything wants to kill you?" Answer: Easy, they run away!

Thriftcriminal said...

Beautiful. I remember at about 5 I watched an adder slither across the yard a few feet from me in Somerset. It was off to the muck heap as that was the perfect place for them to lay their eggs.

Grannymar said...

Hail Glorious St Patrick for ridding this island of those slimy things.

I wish he would come back and rid us of the other slimy things (Politicians)!

steph said...

Hear! Hear! Grannymar

I can't bear politicians or snakes.

Glad I'm not a frog - gulp!

Jefferson DAvis said...

I left a huge comment consisting of all the snakes in my area, but "Blogger" had a major hiccup and it disappeared!

I despise snakes!

All hail Saint Patrick! :)

Emperor Ropi said...

I am really afraid of animals so a snake must freak me out

Baino said...

Aww you're all wusses except Thrifty. They're not slimy at all, smooth and warm actually. I'm not keen on handling them mind but give them a wide birth although it is very unusual to see them this time of the year or at all really. There have never been any deaths reported due to a bite from a red belly. Our worse are Taipans, Tiger and Fierce snakes but none of those in Sydney! The Brown snake is highly venomous but due to its inability to unlock it's jaw is a rare biter . . . most people are bitten by either getting too close, treading on them or trying to handle them.

Babysis said...

Sorry to inform, but at Canoelands they have death adders, browns (nasty) and tiger snakes - In fact at my little lovely's best friends place - her mum has seen all three on the orchard! Eewwwww!

Baino said...

Babysis: I knew we had browns and adders - remember that kid in St Mary's who stuffed a death adder up his shirt because he thought it was a diamond python. . . killed him stone dead! Didn't know about tigers though. I thought they were Victorian. Remember David Abel's place, the milkman used to kill them with a chain and leave them hanging over the front gate?