Friday, February 12, 2010

Rough guide to snake safety

Triply lucky today at small local wetlands. Come close to stepping on grey-barred snake snoozing on rain-saturated track. Quick picture.

Step around and line up more composed shots. Snake tastes air. Acknowledges intrusion. Slowly eases into action. Slips gently away into longer grass. Resist urge to pat it goodbye.

Happy in ignorance. Assume it's an oddly marked non-venomous Keelback, though scales don't look right. Into town. Bump into snake breeder. Relate grey barring. Show pictures.

Rough-scaled Snake (Tropidechus carinatus), says breeder. Why didn't I capture it? (snakers are not like you and me!). Pretty easy answer to that one. Dangerously venomous, says Reptiles of Australia. Guidebook picture unlike in markings and colours, but head tells story.

Lucky to see snake, lucky it stuck around for pictures, lucky to forgo farewell pat.


mick said...

Great photos and a fascinating story - BUT - it's a snake!! I'll just enjoy your post!

Denis Wilson said...

Ah, Tony, you never fail to disappoint me. :-(
Surely the journalist in you would recognise the better story?
Seriously, I'm with Mick.
Long lens work is OK. Nothing closer than 3 metres for me.
Nice shots of the scales on the head.
Blessed are the Innocent (or is it Ignorant, eh?)

Tyto Tony said...

OK: new piece of imfo. My breeder friend reckons Taipans can jump only one-third of body length. I allow length plus. (They can jump better backwards.) So, I do play safe.

Mosura said...

Fantastic shots of a beautiful snake.

I'll stick to the long lens myself. (That is if I ever get my camera problems sorted)

Duncan said...

Nothing like living dangerously Tony, beaut shots!

Duncan said...

Calamanthus is one of my nom de plumes, don't know how it slipped in there....

Snail said...

Excellent close ups, Tony. Probably just as well that you didn't give it a pat on the head or a reassuring chuck under the chin!

Tyto Tony said...

Thanks Alan.

Nom de PCs?

Under chin bit close to sharp end for me.

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