November 15, 2012

Snakey Times

Sunset
About five minutes before getting to the property I approached one of the low bridges to see a black snake slither onto the road. It literally spruiked itself up into the air. I shrieked. Looking into the rear vision mirror I see it slither across the bridge and drop into the water.  How it managed to escape my tyres is beyond me.

Jeepers I hope that's the first and last snake I see in my two days in Gundy. I reached the house and Mitch was still out working with the property manager.  Cautiously I unloaded the car and watched the ground intently. I hear the last time Hubby was out, a monstrously big red belly black snake went under the house. It's life was shortlived I believe but I'm afraid if I were to see a snake I will be running the other way and not after it like my Hubby.

Mitch rocks up. Hugs for a longing mother who misses her son. I hadn't seen him for a couple of months. "Want a drive Ma before the sun goes down?"  Love one.

We jumped into the ute and left a gust of dust behind us as we weaved our way along the dirt track. Across the main road and our first gate appears.  Guess I'll get that.  Oh Ma just watch for that red belly sunning itself a metre from the gate.  WHAT! No way mate. Mitch laughs at me. He gets out first and assures me it won't go for us and that it was merely catching the last bit of sun for the day. Oh Lord help me.

As Mitch unhooks the latch my eyes do not budge from that wriggly snake. It was weird.  So near and just wiggling on the spot. Mitch once again assures me and says it's hole won't be far - 'they don't like to go too far from their hole Ma'. Oh great. Hope the hole isn't under my feet!

Back into the ute and off to see the wheat fields that have been harvested. Such a beautiful colour this time of day. Pinky skies and golden fields. Nicka you should be here (but I guess someone needs to be cruising up the Mekong River)!

Mitch asks me what's that black thing over there. Oh no - not another snake I gulp.  No, it's in the middle of the field.  He veers off the path and heads straight for the 'black'.  The black begins to disperse. Feral pigs take off. Mitch left his gun behind as this was merely a 'scenic' drive for my benefit. "Look at those little tuckers take off" says my hog chasing boy. We try to catch up with them but they are into the bush before we get near enough. Lucky fellows; for today at least.



Back on track, and my tour guide chatters incessantly.  "To the left we have the floodgates; across the waterhole are the previous owners hereford cattle, they don't like to mingle with our droughties. Up ahead see those emus running through the water; notice how they are all in line. Must say Ma, I'm utterly amazed at how stupid emus are; figured they had more brains but nah. That land over there is where the dam's going to be built; to the right we have the offsets out of action at the moment because the tractor is in town getting repaired.  Aren't they impressive?" says my Mitch pointing to a piece of machinery. 

The floodgates I presume

Upside down herefords

Pinky skies

Before long we drive into a fairly bushy part of the property. Mitch pulls up the ute. "Just pop your head out the window Ma and check out that red belly black. He's not overly big that fella."

I am absolutely amazed Mitch spotted him.  From the car seat I zoom in on my camera - the car seat's a good spot to be!

Less than two hours and I've seen three snakes. I think I just might collect all the linen and head on home my darling boy (is what I'm thinking).

By the time we get back to the house it's almost nightfall, but not before Mitch shows me one more thing. He parks his ute under a tree (oh no - it's a fair walk to the house and I'm wondering will I get there without seeing anymore bloody snakes!)

Mitch says: "see that brown snake there Ma; I shot that yesterday. Figured I better kill a brown especially with the property manager's little kids running around at the homestead."  I look down (no photo sorry) and before me lies deceased one of Australia's deadliest snakes. Last year in Gundy a woman died from a brown snake's venom.

I sprint to the house and I ain't stopping for no one!!!!!

I'm back home alive and well. I can't believe Gundy in summer. It is snake haven and one simply has to be aware and on alert.  Thank god my boy is a nature lover (he grew up loving David Attenborough shows and of course he's been on heaps of bushwalks and camps with a determined father to see his kids connected with the great outdoors).  It means he has a really good eye for spotting creatures.  Especially the deadly ones.

Amen.

These trees were sooo striking - from my car seat of course!!!!



4 comments:

  1. Hi Mariana. Good idea to stay in the car:)

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