What's the tree snake doing on my head? I don't know. All rather unusual.
Ride up to lookout knoll as usual this morning. Duck under Weeping Fig and pull up beside the roofed shelter, as usual. Stay on bike, propped on left leg and looking down over the lagoon, as usual.
Feel gentle movement on my back and shoulder. Not usual. Look at right shoulder and see sturdy dark and light blue midsection of Common Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata). Not usual.
'Hello. What are you up to?' I ask. No reply. As usual. Feel more movement across shoulder and back, and up on to wide-brimmed cloth hat. Not usual.
Movement on back stops. Tail of snake dangles before my eyes. Try to ease hat off head and get good look at my guest. More movement on to back and over left shoulder. Not usual.
Turn left and find 1.2m snake coiled about chamfered 4x4 roof post. It seems unsure whether to go on its way or return to me. Most unusual.
Settles on slight loosening of hold on post and drops coiled about 60cm to bench. Uncoils down to ground, accelerates two metres to base of fig and speeds up tree (pictured). As usual.
Didn't want to overdo this story in the telling. The brief encounter gave me a huge lift. But was no more than the most accidental of meetings. Though most unusual.
I've no way of knowing whether the snake joined me from the fig or from the rafters and beams of the shelter. And the couple of magical minutes with the drop-in could scarcely be called quality time. Unimportant. Such moments stay with you forever. Sure beats the usual!
Saw another four tree snakes through the morning. One routed by angry Willie Wagtails (assisted by Yellow Honeyeaters) as it sought to loot their nest, three others sunning. Not one showed any interest in climbing on my head! Definitely as usual.
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