Flight. Definitely flight. And my flight response is in perfect working order.
Today we learned the value of a cleared garden. It’s been a work in progress, complicated by perfect grass growing weather. Our winter weather changed from sleet one week to sunburn the next and the grass has responded by growing rapidly. We have not kept up with it. Today I heard an unusual noise which I went to investigate. It turns out that what I thought was our cat was actually a snake. My flight response is working just fine. With our children safely inside with me, Martin and a friend kept an eye out for Mr Joe Blake whilst I called around to find someone to come and relocate our venomous visitor. An initial check of where we’d seen it failed to unearth it but a subsequent check thankfully allowed Scott the snake catcher, to catch a glimpse. From then it got most exciting.
From the safety of inside the house and viewed through fly screen, the kids and I watched the epic battle ensue. My knight in shining armour, Martin, was armed with the hose, hoping to cool down (and hence slow down) the snake, as well as drive him out to the waiting Scott and his bag.
With all sorts of predictions as to what species of snake it was, my split second sighting of stripes (before I became the first human to travel faster than light), proved to be accurate. A Tiger Snake!
It was underneath our cat litter compost and the two facts that frighten me so very much about this location is that a) the kids, particularly Orik, often climb on top of it and indeed walk past it often enough and b) I had my hands, feet and face around the base of it yesterday, putting in garden edging! To say I’ve got the heebie jeebies is an understatement!
This snake was very dark in colour, which set off our colour debate (dark brown with stripes vs black), and since I like the phrase, know thine enemy, I researched and learned that in cooler climates they can have darker colouring which allows them to heat up faster. I can attest to the fact that this snake was nice and warm as he sure moved fast! I also learned that they are considered the 9th or 10th most venomous snakes in the world.
Our garden is getting a make-over at the moment too. It’s transforming as we speak from a weed infestation to a (nearly) manicured lawn. Martin is mowing. 😉
To anyone who lives near any areas of bush or scrub, or in a rural area, please note this looks to be a bad year for snakes due to a warm and dry spring. Water scarcity might well drive them into gardens to find what water they can. We know with a creek running through the garden and a pond, both full of frogs, and chickens which can bring mice, we provide both food and water for them. Clearly we have also provided them with habitat, something which we will be rectifying rapidly. 😦
Please remember, snakes are not evil, but scared animals who are usually far more scared of us than we are of them. It is illegal to kill them. The snake caught at our place today will be relocated.