Friday, January 21, 2011

Snakes on a (flood) plain

I'm tempted to class it as paranoia, but L. reassures me I'm only exercising an understandable vigilance. Whatever it is, let just me say that I've seen more snakes in the last few weeks than in my entire previous life, & I'm much more than a little bit twitchy.

Enough is enough, already. I've seen snakes in the water, crossing the back driveway, on the front porch, in the letterbox, in the laundry. INSIDE in the laundry, INSIDE the house! What happened to that house is a castle thing? & yesterday, I was about to push open the back screen door to go out & have a cigarette when what do I see but a brown snake poking its head around the corner followed by the rest of its meter-long body. I don't know whether it saw me, or whether it decided that there wasn't much to explore, but it turned, slithered across the pavers, & disappeared with a speed & an ability to camouflage itself that was, in retrospect, frightening. One moment it was there, the next it was nowhere to be seen.

Let me add that my apprehensions were not improved by the item on the news last night that claimed the Eastern brown snake was the second-most poisonous snake in the world.

So, today, when I hung the washing out, I spent so much time checking the surroundings that I had to push my eyeballs back into place when I came inside. & when I went outside again some time later, & one of the little lizards that live in the holes in the brickwork, & which I normally quite happily co-exist with, scuttled away from me, I shat myself. Well, maybe not that extreme a reaction, but, I have to admit, I shied away from it faster than I thought I could move these days.

3 Comments:

Blogger AMBIVALENCE said...

Is there a rescue service nearby, where you can call and say there is a snake in the house? Just wondering if there are guys who rescue these snakes that's all. I expect they are busy and overloaded with work if there are any near you.

11:20 PM  
Blogger mark young said...

Snakes are a natural part of the landscape here, but it's been the flooding, which has covered much of their local habitat, that's driven them into built-up areas in such large numbers.

& there are snakecatchers hereabouts. The Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service, part of the state Environmental Protection Agency, does it as a free service, & there are a couple of private contractors.

But it's not so much rescuing the snakes as rescuing the human population. There was a news item on Friday of a snakecatcher being called in to an industrial property situated on the edges of the floodplain, that had just opened for business again, & catching 100 snakes there. & getting bitten on the face whilst doing it.

& if it hadn't been 1.30 in the morning when the snake inside our house reappeared, I would have called in a snakecatcher rather than take matters into my own hands. But there was no way I was going to be able to sleep knowing that there was a snake crawling around downstairs looking for a place to curl up until it was time to come out & frighten me again.

9:36 PM  
Blogger AMBIVALENCE said...

Do I assume that the floods are still as bad? I just saw a report of a family sat on the roof of a car, as it was swept along. It's all very bad isn't it. I feel for you all in Queensland.

That's the thing isn't it, all the snakes that are normally around, were flushed out and looking for somewhere warm and dry.

Doesn't it make you think that snakes are survivers and are probably the sort of creature to survive in circumstances when humans wouldn't.

Certaily a dangerous job being a snake catcher/rescuer. A job that not many would feel able to do!

Please stay safe, from your point of you, I bet you would rather get the professionals in, than risk your own life.

10:08 PM  

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