Spring is Here, Birds are Singing…..

Geckoes are Chuck Chuck Chucking….

And the snakes are awaking. More of that in a minute. But first…..

I usually like to post on Monday about something I did over the weekend. This weekend we went to “Art in the Park”, the very same local event we went to last year. Not really much point in making another post on that one as you can read about it from last year, when it fell on Fathers Day.

Except to add it was every bit as good as last year. My daughter had fun at the craft stalls; she made me a miniature clay egg basket, with eggs, and a stick insect! I don’t know how I lived without them before.

And so to spring.

We are now almost a couple of weeks into spring and it hit us like a flick of a switch. Almost from precisely 1 September it’s been noticeably warmer, especially at night. Today the mercury was at 27°C. Very nice!

Asian House Geckos are starting to make their way back into my house and that familiar chuck chuck chuck sound is getting more frequent. And, as I mentioned earlier, the snakes are waking up.

Snake incident number one.

Yesterday afternoon we were driving along a country road when right in front of me a driver slowed down to a halt in the middle of the road and put on his hazard warning lights.

Not sure what was going on, I pulled up behind him and as I did so, Mrs BobinOz said “Oh, look! It’s a snake in the middle of the road.”

And so it was.

I didn’t have my camera on me, but I remembered I had my new iPhone 4 and even though I was a novice user, I knew it had a camera on it. Could I get it to work? Meanwhile my wife helped out with “Hurry up or you’ll miss it!”

Guess what? I missed it! But this is what happened.

The snake was probably about five or 6 feet long. The driver, a man in his 60s I would guess, had got out of his car and was walking towards the snake, which I thought was dead and maybe he did too.

But it wasn’t, so the guy changed direction and headed towards the side of the road. There he picked up a stick, about 3 foot long, and went back and ‘encouraged” the snake out off the road and back into the surrounding fields.

And with that the snake slithered off into the distance. Me, I was still fiddling with my iPhone. Unlike with my last real live snake encounter, given the size and unknown nature of this snake, I decided against chasing into the bush to look for it.

So hopefully you can see from that little story that many people here do really care about snakes. I’m pretty sure there are quite a few people who would have just as happily driven over the poor thing, but I’m glad to report that not everyone is like that.

Although I didn’t get a good enough look at the snake to see what it was, my guess is that it was a carpet snake. They are not venomous but can still give you quite a nasty bite. But if it was a venomous snake of some sort, he was a pretty plucky guy!

Snake incident number two.

This is where the BeninOz’s live.

The BeninOz HouseIt is also out in the country, on acreage. It has a lovely big back garden……

Acreage back gardenAnd they have a really cool balcony attached to the back. That’s the door into the kitchen and to the right, one of the many seats available. After all, it is a great place for sitting outdoors on those hot summer or even spring days.

The BalconyAnd here is somebody enjoying sitting outdoors on their balcony on that very same seat, on a hot spring day….

Carpet snake on a chairAnd this somebody definitely is a carpet python and he’s over 6 foot long. It’s probably the same carpet python whose skin I can be seen holding over at my post called snakes in Australia, the bad news.

You can see how big this snake is as Ben tried to sneak round to take a look…..

6 foot carpet snake

If snakes freak you out, here’s a tip.

Having (probably) just scared the pants off you, let me now put your mind at rest. If snakes make you feel uncomfortable and are perhaps making you think twice about moving here to Australia, remember this.

I have been here nearly 3 years and so far the snake I saw in the road yesterday is still only the second snake I have seen naturally in the wild; I have already mentioned my first encounter above. And I live in the western suburbs which are surrounded by acreage.

But here’s the tip. I don’t live in acreage. If you live in a house surrounded by two or three acres of land, like BeninOz, you will see snakes. If you decide to live in a more built up area, like I do, then you probably won’t.

Too easy!

Carpet python close up

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • BobinOz October 11, 2010, 6:40 pm | Link

    All Adders are puffs? Are you a herpetologist Tom?

  • Tom October 11, 2010, 6:44 am | Link

    I have only ever seen one wild snake, it was a dead snake in the wild in the UK, I did get to handle some snakes (live) once they ain’t so bad. Also all Adders are puffs.

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