Saturday, November 04, 2017

Snake!



Part of the Lenah Valley Track


That’s it! I am done with bushwalking for this season.
Last week a friend and I did a bushwalk on the fringe of suburbia to look at New Town Falls. We hadn’t gone far when he said in big stage whisper, “Stay calm and walk very quietly.”
He said it in an unusually serious tone, so I whirled around to see what his problem was. My friend now looked positively alarmed.

There up on the bank a few steps back from where I had just walked was a rather large snake raising its head and looking slightly annoyed at being disturbed. I had been ahead on the track and now it lay between us. It slid down the bank halfway across the track and just stayed there for what seemed like eternity. Fortunately, it had settled down again, but showed no intention of moving. Ever.

Close up- rather dodgy iPhone picture


My friend tried rattling some bark to no avail. Eventually I threw a small rock into the bush intending to scare it. Though I aimed well behind it, it actually landed on its tail and the snake upped sticks, finished its traverse across the path and then headed downhill on the other side of the track. It was quite long - close to two metres. It is illegal to kill snakes though all the snakes in Tasmania are poisonous. Mostly though they aren’t aggressive unless it’s mating or breeding season or you do something stupid like stepping on them. Unfortunately I think it must be mating season, but fortunately the snake was still rather dopey and enjoying a bit of sun to warm up.


I don’t often see them. Apart from the one at Narawntapu two years ago, I hadn’t seen one for about twenty years. It did however, make me very apprehensive for the rest of the walk and the falls were almost an anti -climax. Fortunately it hadn’t returned by the time we came back, but the thought of meeting it on the way left me rather nervous and not at all keen on walking more. Next time I’ll let my friend lead the way.


The New Town Falls - already much reduced since the last time I saw them

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