October 27, 2012

Exit, Pursued By A Snake.

There are way too many reptiles around this joint.  This morning I had the closest encounter with a snake I have had since I moved to The Farm.

I was minding my own business in my garden when I decided to wander up to my veggie patch to see how much lettuce I had.  My mother-in-law is having a function and I had promised to bring a salad and needed to know what was on offer in the frilly lettuce department.

My veggie patch is a fair distance from The Farmhouse and is still a work in progress.  At the moment there are just a few raised beds surrounded by a gorgeous fence made of old jam fence posts.  All very rustic and lovely.

Anyway, Herbie The Wonder Dog and myself headed through the veggie patch gate and I stood for a while admiring the wonder that was my coriander.  (Coriander has to be admired while it is at its prime as it goes to seed in all of about five minutes around these parts.)

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a slithery movement.  I then realised that Herbie The Wonder Dog (he has graduated from being a Wonder Puppy BTW) and I had  accidentally cornered a brown, very venomous looking snake.  I grabbed Herbie and went to the other end of the veggie patch thinking that the snake would grab its chance and head out the gate.

Alas it was not the brightest snake in the world and headed straight towards me, rearing up in the process.  It was between me and a lovely collection of long-handled gardening tools which I could otherwise have used as defence.  I had also broken my "boots in the garden" rule and was clad in an exceptionally snake protective pair of Birkenstocks and old denim shorts. Once I was backed up against the fence, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and threw Herbie over the fence (he did his best flying rocket dog impression) and vaulted after him, tearing my shorts in the process.  It was not my finest moment. Fortunately the snake then turned tail and headed out through the gate back to the paddock. (Do you think it was my squealing and dodgy language that scared it off??  There is something about snakes that always makes me do my opening sequence of Four Weddings And A Funeral impression.)

Fence.  Not Snake Proof.

So in the end both the snake, myself and the hound escaped.  The Farmchildren were in The Farmhouse and missed the whole caper. (Thank God.)

Interestingly we had spent the few weeks before doing the mowing of weeds and raking, cleaning etc that we always do around The Farmhouse at the start of snake/fire weather.  Given that we are in the middle of a paddock surrounded by rocks, I doubt if that keeps them away - at least we can see them though and they are more likely to pass through and keep going to more sheltered, grassy areas.

We always seem to see the most snakes in October/November.  Apparently it is the mating season in WA and hence all the gentleman snakes are out chasing the lady snakes who are slithering around trying to look sexy.  Which is all well and good but I don't want them in my veggie patch.  Particularly not if they are planning a family.....

Anyway.  All's well that ends well.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Seen any snakes?


19 comments:

Makeminemidcentury said...

That sounds absolutely petrifying. I hate snakes and asps. They're all the same in my book.

Joolz said...

No snakes, thank goodness! Gus was slashing our back block with the whipper snipper a few weeks back and hit a blue tongue lizard which frightened the shite out of him, but we've never seen a snake here yet! I guess there will be a first time... But we have been here 8 years.....

**Anne** said...

Oh my goodness. Was it a King Brown snake? If it was, they are known to be an aggressive snake and are not inclined to back away when encountered. My brother has them on his farm in the Shire of Kellerberrin. Fortunately they tend to stay in the granite outcrop area and live on rabbits. He did find one in the garage one day which was a bit EXCITING for him. I'm glad you were able to get away safely, but experiences like yours are SCARY. Will you be armed with a shovel the next time you venture to the vege patch? :)
Stay safe,
Anne xx

Kakka said...

I saw the biggest dugite I have ever seen just yesterday. It was on the road and had just had it's tail run over, by the car in front of me. It was writhing around, really whipping it's body in the air. I reckon it was a good 2 metres long and as fat as anything. I hope it managed to wriggle off the road and I don't like people running over snakes and this road is fairly rural at the back of Jandakot near the airport.

So glad you got away - goodness, you did well jumping that fence and I have a great visual of the wonder dog flying through the air with his cape billowing behind him.

A Farmer's Wife said...

MMMC - Not a fan of asps either. Knew you would appreciate my Shakespearean (? a word) references.

Joolz - We probably see 2 or 3 every summer near the house. I must admit, once they are within a certain range of where we live they tend to be despatched with a shovel or shotgun....

Anne - It looked like a dugite maybe or a King Brown. Didn't stick around to see. My husband found a similar looking one in our garage later that day and managed to dispose of it as it had taken up residence under our spare fridge (Lovely....)

Kakka - I don't mind taking a live and let live approach if they are in the paddock or the bush or on the road. Struggle once they are on the verandah or in the garage (or god forbid the house...)

Pauline said...

Thank heavens that ended well or I would have felt so guilty about laughing at the flying wonder dog and leaping wonder woman. One thing I don't miss about living in North Queensland is the snakes!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Pauline - It must have looked so funny. Our stockman drove past a little later. Wish he had been there at the time to help but not to see me screaming like a sook and inelegantly jumping the fence!

A Farmer's Wife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sharon said...

yes, just the other day - husband and I were sitting quietly in the garden at beer oclock, kids playing nearby and one came right past us...of course I had no shoes on, husband grabbed shovel nearby BUT MISSED THE THING. It was a small brown...which has been sighted before in the garden and missed (well I hope it was the same one and not a bevy of siblings). I don't mind them alive out in the paddocks but they are not welcome at all around my house and garden, especially as we have had #1 child bitten 3 years ago and spend the day in ICU. Long handled shovels are currently strategically positioned around the yard...and I must mow the lawn again!

Dee said...

Glad it was you and not me. Snakes terrify me. Thankfully when we lived on one farm I never saw one. One the other farm we saw a brightly coloured tiger standing up almost as high as the window on the Suzuki. not nice.

A Farmer's Wife said...

Sharon - I agree re not being welcome in the house yard. Especially with small children around. I am hoping the snake The Farmer got in the garage was the same one as in the veggie patch. It was quite a few hours apart though and I did see the other slither off to the paddock. Like you I am hoping not siblings....

Dee - Scary about standing up snakes. I did see one standing up trying to get into creeper around our house once. Quite frightening how high it got.

River said...

I bet you'll remember the boots and shovel next time you venture out to the veggie patch! with the snake rearing up at you like that, I'm wondering if he had just woken up and was hungry, probably saw a tasty meal, until you threw Herbie over the fence. Glad you both got away.

Z said...

Snakes are just awful. I consider myself an animal lover, but I just can't get on board with snakes. I almost got bitten when I was a child, fishing out some keys under the cattle race. Never again.

Edwina said...

Little buggers. I too garden in birkenstocks, terrible habit but they're so comfy.

Annaleis Topham said...

Been a few snakes removed from town around here. But what I have noticed is how many I have seen on the road.

Lisa @ Blithe Moments said...

We were city people but lived backing reserve so have had many a snake episode. Spraying flyspray at them sends them in the opposite direction very fast and I've heard an urban legend that they won't slither over a thick rough rope. Anyway not fun! I wish you a snake free summer.

xo.sorcha.ox said...

Boots in the garden? Ha! I keep telling myself thongs (flip-flops for those in the northern hem) and pretty dresses are not suitable Garden Wear, but I'm too lazy to change. Last week I headed down to the veggie patch (at the far end of a very long garden) and almost died of a heart attack when I nearly stepped on a blue tongue lizard. Yes, it was only a lizard, but at the time I didn't know that: All I saw was something reptile in nature slither out the way of my descending thong. A small scream may have escaped my lips whilst I bounced back the way I'd come at a speed I didn't know I was capable of, only to then see the little bugger scurry away from the garden beds and hide behind a log.
I don't know what my next move would have been had it been an actual snake.
~S.

Anonymous said...

Yep! In our toy room. Thank goodness for our trusty ol' tabby who was pawing at the window when I walked past outside, also thankful no children were in the toy room and that the brown slithered on out to the shed. Bad season here in western QLD. Emma

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

OMG! I was getting hankerings of moving to the Aussie bush until I read this. Just snapped me out of it.

I can not abide snakes. Truly.
I saw a live snake twice and both times I had post traumatic stress disorder. Don't know what it is about them - tarantulas don't do anything to me but snakes...

So glad nothing happened though.