Sunday, November 14, 2010


Just went outside to have a play with the pooches and give them a bit of cheese I had.

Yuky Mainland swiss cheese - once you've had Jarlsberg every other supermarket Swiss is pretty ordinary!

Outside feeding Floyd a slice of cheese and thought that I should give Meggie a slice, too. Headed for the back entry of the pergola and saw something move when I was only about a metre away... SNAKE!!!!! Only a small one, about 18 inches to two feet. It was hiding in the leaves next to the shed and under the pergola. I suspect it was after the green tree frog sitting on the concrete near the entranceway. He was still sitting up there 20 minutes later. I've moved him up onto the kitchen windowsill.

I'm going to be a bit late for work tomorrow. I'll have to whippersnip, my shoulders going to give me hell, but the poison I sprayed on the grass a couple of weeks ago just isn't working fast enough for me.

Oh, and today in the leaves that have blown under the carport I discovered a small dead snake. No head. Maybe a cat has killed it. It's probably about the size of a pencil, or a bit longer, but that circumference.

Floyd's been barking at something (again), so I've gone out (again) and this time and there's the snake, when I ask Floyd to "Show me?" he went over to the stones in the garden and looked... and there I saw the snake. (phone rings while I'm writing this)... Snake was poking it's head over the bottom plank under the picket-wall of the pergola. I speared with the spade - but the snake was too fast. It's about two feet long, black head, brown body. Brown snake. Or worse. Speared the snake with the spade, but missed, it was too fast.

Phonecall (I'n off the phone now), while I'm on the phone I go outside to see what's happening. Floyd's looking at the place where the snake popped out over the board at the bottom of the pergola fence... and there he is again. I've just explained to phonecaller that I've got a snake under the pergola, asked her to hang on, and as I grabbed the spade again and headed to the wall of the pergola (wood picket-like thing), I see another snake in the leaves (it moved) over to my left. I'd swept out the leaves when the other snake shot through there... but here's another one. Two snakes.
Which one to spear?
The one that was surely here before and had popped back over the wooden plank at the bottom of the pergola fence.

Now I'm inside with Floyd who is puffing and panting because it's HOT in here... It's times like these I wish I had aircon!

Okay. Just swept out the pergola. Didn't see any more snakes. The deadish one isn't quite gone yet. I think he's got a broken neck. I think he's a taipan. Small head, really fat body and a long skinny tail at the end of the fat body...

Floyd won't go outside. I just checked to see if the coast was clear, but there are two more snakes out there. I think I'm going to have to keep Floyd inside tonight. Oh joy, it's quite warm in here tonight.

Made my bed about 10-15 minutes ago. Floyd was in there with me. As soon as I go the bottom sheet on the bed he leapt onto it and made himself at home, and wouldn't get off! When I first brought him home he slept on the papasan chair pad with me...

I've been thinking, I'll have to put the dogs into a kennel until I can get rid of all the long grass around the house. That's the only way. I won't be able to do it all tomorrow morning, aside from the fact that there's so much, I'll probably end up crippling myself - my shoulders been giving me quite a bit of pain for months now.

Kennel is $34/day for both Bundy and Meggie. I'm dropping them off there at about 9am, and they'll stay until Sunday. OUCH!
Four hours straight sleep for me, Floyd was good, slept on a cotton quilt cover on the carpet beside my bed. Up at first light for a tinkle stop out the front, then a couple more hours of dozing, and up at 7am.
He was freaked out by the dog in the mirror for quite a while. Wanted to go back into the bathroom and see what the dog in the mirror was doing. Then when I had my shower that mirror freaked him out, too.

Snake is thought to be a brown snake. Fail. The others might have been, but this wasn't. Epic fail.

Letter to Mr Snake, drafted by MDFD:

Dear Mr Snake

Would you mind holding still please while I go and get my snake identification book to check whether you're venomous our not.

Ok, now my book tells me you might be a keelback but I've a few reservations.

The Keelback (Tropidonophis mairii) is a harmless snake found throughout Northern Australia; it is also known as the freshwater snake. It resembles two venomous snakes, the Taipan and the Rough scaled snake

Before I whack you on the head with this FBS*, I need you to confirm if I'm correct or not because if you're in fact a taipan you may kill me.


*FBS = Bloody Big Shovel


Skeeter said...

It seems to be a bad year for snakes.
I've already seen a couple of pythons and one brown.
Then, this morning, I was hanging out over the veranda railing, pruning some dead fronds on the bananas with a long-handled lopper. There was a two-footer that somehow got himself between the blades of the lopper. Oops!
Both halves of the snake dropped to the ground and wiggled away under the veranda. I will need to crawl under there soon and try and find the bits before they stink up the place.

Merilyn said...

Yes snakes are plentiful this year. Have you thought about getting a quote on having the slashing done, thereby not putting more pressure on that bad shoulder of yours?

kae said...

Not so much slashing, but whippersnippering.

Merilyn said...

P.S. Is that $34 per dog or $34 a day for both? If it is $34 per dog you are right......ouch!
......and Skeeter well done on your snake kill, I tend to keep hitting them until they are in little pieces.

kae said...

$34 for two.
The old owners used to give a discount for two in the same kennel together. Not these ones.
Last time I kennelled my dogs was $22 for the two I think. But that was a while ago.

kae said...

I'm in the shit with the wildlife person I know. One of the few snakes in Aus which can eat cane toads without harm... epic fail for me.

A couple of people looked at it and said it was a brown. I asked the expert "How can you tell then which is a harmless one and which is a harmful one?" Well, this one is nocturnal.... then again, browns are diurnal (active both day and night).
Yeah, I thought it was a brown. And I have heard of browns attacking people

MDFD sent me an email back... she said...
Its brown, its a snake, you live in the lockyer valley, brown snake paradise, i'd be hitting the f**king thing with a shovel too

Merilyn said...

The Vet's here have been interviewed to say they have been very busy with animals being bitten by Brown snakes and have warned to be on the lookout for them and have given a run down what to look for if your dog or cat becomes suddenly ill.
Farmers say the only good snake is a dead snake.
Think your friend was right, in the area you are in, most people would be hitting it with a shovel.

cav said...

Get a cat for the snakes and a sheep for the grass.

That'll be $50.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the cat but I'd recommend a few sheep there myself, even just three or four (don't know the size of the property), if the food should run out, a couple of bales of hay will sustain a few sheep for a long, long time.

We left a clear space on our old farm for a fire refuge and had about 15 of the woolly things to keep it clear, once they get acquainted with the dogs, they don't bother about them.

Must admit to a few snake-acide myself, partial to a 12 gauge instead of a shovel, but circumstances decide the means of dispatch.

Only when they were around the house or sheds mind!
Otherwise didn't bother live and let live.


Anonymous said...

On second thought cancel the sheep!
Floyd being part kelpie and having all day to himself, I doubt he could leave the sheep alone.

Still it's not a bad idea!


kae said...

"That'll be 50 bucks."

Cheeky bugger.

Lou Mac
Hope your trip was pleasant, it looked like a lovely place...

Oh, and Cav, my first thought was to feed the cat to the snakes - neighbour across the street had a dead cat over the weekend. Snakebite.

Anonymous said...

Lou Mac
Hope your trip was pleasant, it looked like a lovely place...

Thanks for asking kae, yes it was very good to meet old neighbors and friends, some I talk to weekly if not more often but we don't see each other much.
Distance is a killer, as everyone in OZ knows.

I'm really pissed off with myself, I forgot take my camera with me, was going to post some pictures of the old place and us, but never mind, maybe next time.
Not surprising really.
I'm not as snap happy as some, I must say, I bought this camera about four years ago, it's a Canon 5 Megapixel which should tell its age but only used once.

Yes it is a lovely place, we only complained about the wind sometimes, it used to blow constantly for days on end because we are about 1600 feet ASL on top of the dividing range.

We used to joke that we'd put up a wind mill and it would stop.


Ps. parts of the new freeway is only a few years old and it's already full of potholes and crumbling at the edges, what the hell is happening here?
We pay more for everything and we get crap in return.

Skeeter said...

You have reminded me of a true sheep story.
Many years ago, Qantas's 9-storey admin building at Mascot started to shed bricks from its facade. Barriers were placed around the the bottom of the building to keep passers-by safe from falling bricks and a shelter was built over the ground-floor entrance, in case a falling brick clobbered a valuable pilot going to pre-flight briefing.
The gardeners had been happily mowing the grass around the building until they saw all these life-saving devices installed. They then refused to mow the grass any more.
So a live sheep, on its way to the abattoirs, was installed inside the danger area to keep the grass down.
Some genius in marketing saw an opportunity for a bit of promotion and stencilled the red flying rat logo on both sides of the sheep. That worked, and it got a lot of exposure in the media.
That was until the RSPCA saw it in on the front page of something and immediately threatened Qantas with life sentences in jail for endangering a sheep.
So the sheep was relieved of its mowing duties and completed its interrupted journey to the abattoirs.

kae said...

So glad that the RSPCA saved the sheep.