Sunday, April 18, 2010

Autumn! Snakes!

When people tell you that Australia is just filled with a long list of animals that are waiting to kill you, one way or another, venomous snakes feature prominently on that list. One of those is the tiger snake.

I've seen more than my fair share of tiger snakes this year. We've had at least two hanging around our chook pen for most of summer - and possibly a third under our front door step. When out taking photos a couple of months ago, I heard the nearby grass rustling and looked down to see a metre-long snake heading straight toward me. That same day I saw another crossing the road. A few weeks ago I saw one just up the road from home and another on a track not far from where I'd just been painting. I don't know what it is but something's going right for tiger snakes.

My biggest surprise, however, came just a few night's ago when I nearly stepped on this guy - or girl...

This one is just a baby, about 30cm (1') long and it was sunning itself near the end of the day. Remember to click the pics for a bigger image.

When I'm out looking for interesting painting spots, a good deal of my thoughts are about snakes. I'm not "scared" of them as such (I quite admire them in fact) but you need to be aware they're around from spring through autumn. A few years ago one glided right by me as I was half-way through a painting!

Autumn weather in the Lower Great Southern region of WA can be close to perfect. Today was just such a day with clear blue skies and warm sunlight. And reptiles like warm sunlight...

This is a Goulds Monitor and he was sunning himself (or she-herself) on the side of the road. It remained in this position as I rolled the van slowly forward, with the camera held out the window. They are amazing looking creatures but don't usually hang long enough to get this close. This was yet another reminder that I was going to have to think about tiger snakes today as I went in search of painting subjects.

A little further up the road my mind was back on painting and I found my first subject for the day. I'll start a new article to deal with that one.

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