another story for all you naturalisti al'poltrona.
adventure took place on one warm summer's day when I went bushwalking
with a friend along the Colo River. Not long after we started, I spotted
a large snake lying in shallow water. By the shape of the head and large
body we figured it to be a species of python. To my surprise, my friend
suggested we capture it and have a closer look!
some hesitation I agreed only on the condition that he grab the head
while I took care of the less dangerous tail end. With the aid of a
forked branch he had secured a tight grip on the back of the snake's
head and I grabbed the tail. The snake immediately coiled its body
around both our arms and tightened its grip. Who was holding who?
The pressure it applied was surprisingly strong and it took some
effort to unravel the snake.
laid the snake out on the sand, still maintaining a secure hold of both
ends, and marked its length. I then paced the length which measured 70
inches (1.8 metres). We noted that the snake had two tiny spurs on
either side of its lower body, its rudimentary legs which are still
evident on all pythons — an indication that snakes in the past
actually did have "a leg to stand
drew a rough sketch of the snake's head and skin pattern for later
identification (dark olive green above with yellow markings) and then we
released it back into the water. The python like all snakes is an
excellent swimmer and within seconds it disappeared into the bank on the
opposite side of the river.
returning home, we identified the snake as a diamond python (Morelia
spilota) — apparently a fairly common snake in NSW. Pythons are
non-venomous but can give a nasty bite.
are several venomous species of snakes which are found in NSW, two of
the most venomous being the death adder and the tiger snake — a
bushwalker's nightmare. The other poisonous snakes which are more often
encountered in the bush are the red-bellied black snake and the brown
snake. The red-bellied is not aggressive and will only attack if
provoked; its bite causes severe illness but is not usually fatal. The
brown snake, however, is aggressive and its venom very potent.
if you do venture from your armchair and go into the bush, have a good
day, but tread softly.