I have a morbid fascination with snakes.
I’m terrified of them, don’t get me wrong and being out in the great Aussie bush makes me very aware they are around. Its supposed to be nearing the end of winter but everyone’s saying ‘what winter?’ Which means, they are even more ‘present’ than usual. Then there’s the fact that I feed the chooks… hmmm.. and snakes adore chook eggs so….
Out here, in the back bush of Clermont, the middle of the day is much like a heat wave from where I grew up in the south west of West Australia.
I’m helping out on a 60,000 acre farm. Yep. Plenty of room for lots of snakes further bought home to me by the snake skin I saw yesterday in a dish casually placed on top of one of the freezers.
When I asked ‘where did you find this?’ Meg replied ‘oh, out in one of the yards.’
‘But it doesn’t look like a pythons skin?’ I’m thinking that it looks way more sinister than a harmless ol’ python. Meg simply shrugged her shoulders and walks away. She must be over hearing such trivial questions.
Miss 6 over heard me and called out ‘ yeah Lon, there was a king brown outside our school last week.’
‘A king brown? Isn’t that more deadly than a common ‘brown?’ My palms were getting sweaty just thinking about it.
‘Oh yeah, it is’ she replied, casual as.
A few years ago I was working in an office, a job I realized after 3 days was definitely not for me. I did however get to meet some interesting people and one day a guy was doing a first aid course and bought in a tiny snake in a container.
I couldn’t stop staring at it and asked him a barrage of questions one of which was ‘how deadly is it?’
Now, this tiny snake at first glance could easily be mistaken for one of those rubber ones that comes in kids show bags.
It looked non descript.
So I was a little taken aback by his reply.
‘If you get bitten by one of these, even one this small, your in deep doo doo.’
(In other words: trouble, or shit, for those that don’t understand what ‘doo doo’ means).
I wish now I hadn’t lost my cowgirl boots. Left them behind somewhere. Here I’m wearing sandals for ease of throwing on and off as I walk in and out of the house a zillion times a day. I’m thinking I need to be in boots or joggers, just in case. Long boots would really be handy.
AS I wandered over to the chook pen today, I watched in earnest as the sandy ground and leaves from the trees were perfect camouflage for any brown yellowy coloured snakes. As I crunch over the leaves I pray they hear me a coming.
At night when I leave the main house to walk over to my donga, I can hear my mothers voice ‘walk slow and thump…. It’ll alert the snakes.’ So here I am thump, thump, thump…… fiddling with my I phone so I can at least shine a torch on the ground and praying that no snake shall cross my path. At least no brown ones… but then, a dear friend just emailed me and said ‘watch out for the redbacks…’ yikes, hadn’t given them a slightest thought!