Meeting Mr S

Well now for something on a lighter note. After Neal and Jamie have openly discussed their fears for anything slithery, I thought back to a few occasions where i’ve been in pretty close proximity to the lil fella’s myself.  And I guess someone has to try and reclaim the Aussie image… lol.

Nah, it’s more to show that these creatures aren’t all bite, and really unless you stand on them or threaten them you don’t have anything to worry about. I’ve even been held up on a thin mountain path for 30min, due to a Tiger snake that decided it made a good place to sleep. No waving, stomping, clapping, throwing stones (not at it, but next to it) was moving it!! And there was no room to go around it. So i waited.

tiger-snake

The first image here is a Tiger Snake on Toolbrunup Peak in the Stirling Ranges. These things love being high up on the peaks, and take on a very different look to any i’ve seen on the flats. They are a lot thinner and really have the lovely yellow bands they’re known for. These snakes are said to be extremely aggressive. But i’ve never personally come across any that are.

I took this with my camera 1.5m away, and I was leaning back as I was actually too close to get him focused. He didn’t seem to mind me at all, even firing away with a flash for a couple of minutes. He wasn’t cornered and I didn’t make any quick movements so I guess he didn’t feel threatened at all. I do admit that if this was something like a Taipan or a Brown snake I would not be anywhere near this close. As they will actually chase you!!

dugite

The next one here is a Dugite. It was about 1.5m long and was actually the main turning point for me with snakes. I was definitely more on the cautious side, i’d creep up to 4-5 meters of  them but that was it. This snake was behind the grass, preventing a decent shot. So I crept closer and tried to change the angle. I got to about 2.5m away and it completely flipped out. Banging it’s head into the rock you can see in the upper left of this image. I was wondering what it was doing, but then all of a sudden it disappeared into a hole in the ground. It really made me realise that they are even more afraid of us. Since then i’ve had more faith and quite enjoy watching these creatures in the wild.

Now obviously i’m not saying run around picking them up or anything, as we do have a huge number of the most venomous snakes in the world residing in Oz. Depending what info you get (each site seems to be different…) the Tiger is number 7 and the Dugite number 14. And I think it’s about 13 of the top 20. So precaution is always best!! I do usually wear long pants, theory i’ve heard is that the material helps with our snakes in the South West-not that i want to try that one 🙂

But they’re stunning to watch all the same. Hope my stories ease your nerves a bit anyway. As i’ve said to Jamie, I freaked when I saw a lil reef shark while snorkeling. Legs and arms took over before the brain caught up and said what the hell are you doing!! And he loves diving with sharks. So maybe one day we’ll get used to the other! haha.

More of my Stirling Range Posts can be found here

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7 responses to “Meeting Mr S

  1. You know, save a single rare occasion, i’ve never seen a snake out in the bush. However have come across a whole lot of them while in the city.

    I guess all of our efforts to walk heavily in the bush are paying off… that or urban snakes are desensitized to all of the noise in the city!

  2. Great post and photos Steve! I am a big fan of snakes, very fascinated by them and find them amazing creatures. I actively (and very carefully) try and find snakes in the bush but am not having much luck. Have seen a western brown and a few different pythons but that’s it – it appears I need to go walkabout with you snake charmer!

  3. Nice post Stephen,

    I haven’t ever seen a snake while I’ve been out in the bush either, apart from one time over in QLD, but that was only a tiny green snake which I will admit still scared me… Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera on my otherwise I might have taken a quick snap before I bolted :p

  4. thanks guys.

    yeah i know i tread a bit heavier during the hotter seasons too Charlene. seen a pic on Flickr of a quite fat tiger snake taken in July… i don’t even think about them then. so now i try and consider them all times of year!

    you know what Flem…i’m not at all surprised you go actively hunting them haha. i’ve gone a long time without seeing any, but then went through a patch a saw about 10 within a few months. i don’t do alot of walking here in Perth during summer. so i guess that cuts down my chances a bit. but they are quite amazing to watch that’s for sure.

    yeah the first time you see them still shocks you a little bit i found Beau, so you’re definitely not alone there!

  5. Nice captures Stephen, but you’d still get me nowhere near any of those things.

  6. haha fair enough Neal, they’re definitely now for eveyone 🙂

  7. Glad you are keeping a bit of distance between you & those slithery things found in the bush, also that you don’t share the experiences with me on a regular basis. BTW We don’t get snakes in Mundi eh 🙂

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