Monday, May 24, 2010

There Are Snakes, and Then... There Are SNAKES!


I’ve mentioned this before (and some of you might add under your breath “ad nauseum!”) but I’ll say it again… Maine is a wicked nice place to live!

My daughter Josie-Earl took this photo last fall. We’d all gone for a walk in the woods, just to see what there was to see and to enjoy the crisp autumn air. My daughter and I always lug our cameras along. After all, you never know when a photo op might present itself. We learned this the hard way, after that time her father picked up the really neat-looking dog turd, thinking it was a rock. It was a priceless moment—and one which still makes me laugh--but regrettably, it’s not one we captured on film. (Or memory card, as the case may be…)

As we walked along the side of the brook that marks one of our property boundaries, she spied a snake slithering its way across the top of a mossy stump. Out of her pocket came the camera, and the next thing I knew, she was lying on the leaf-strewn forest floor, snapping away. We waited a few minutes for her to get the “perfect shot”, but she was having too much fun. No matter that we said, “Come on, Jos!”; there she remained, eye to eye and nose to tongue with the genial garter. He was a very cooperative snake.

Eventually, we left her. Mr. Grumbles, Eli and I continued our walk, and ten minutes later, my girl caught up with us. She’d taken dozens of photos of the little snake, and this one is one of my favorites. I look at him, and he makes me smile.

And then, there came this photo. Once again, one of my Aussie friends attempted to tell me--in his not-so-subtle way--that Australia is a land of HOLY GUACAMOLE, WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS THAT???

Do you see this? Can you believe it??? Judas Priest on a pony! I HATE that crap!! I want to GO to Australia, and just when I think I might buy myself a plane ticket and fly Down Under, one of my Aussie mates does something like this to me.

Look at it! LOOK at it!! Sufferin’ succotash, that’s a SNAKE! And not just a snake, mind you, but a sheep-eating snake. A sheep-SWALLOWING snake! See… a farmer noticed his sheep were going missing. No trace of them… no blood, no wool, no bones. Just…poof! One minute they were there, calmly standing around, chewing their cuds and looking stupid, and the next…Poof! POOF, I say! One bite. One swallow. One sheep swallowing snake was decimating his herd. Or flock, or whatever the heck sheep congregate in. So, this sneaky sheep shepherd strung a string. A static-saturated string so strung so’s to safely store his stupid sheep. And along came the snake… a python, to be perfectly precise. He started under the wire, got zapped, and did what any respectable python would do. He attacked the source of the pain. Bit the wires. Completed the circuit. ZAP! That surge of electricity caused the python’s muscles to contract, and he was stuck right there, caught open-mouthed as he fried.

Oh, man. I’m an animal lover, you know? As guilty I feel about this, I’ve gotta say… THANK GOD!

I’ve never been afraid of snakes, but there’s a first time for everything. I’m thinking seriously about developing a snake phobia. This picture is horrifying, and… I mean… LOOK AT IT! Holy smokes.

And I really wanted to go to Oz, too…
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Below are some photos of an actual Australian snake (ask Crookedpaw for the name... he's smart that way!) swallowing a kangaroo. Yes, I feel much better now...






The photo below is of a couple of Aussie possums sent me by my pal, Jack. They have NOT (yet) been consummed by Monty python...



29 comments:

  1. Holly Housecats! Now THAT'S a snake!

    They say it tastes like chicken, but I'm betting that one tasted like mutton!

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  2. Makes our wild critters look pretty tame, doesn't it? I will take a black bear on my front poch ANY DAY!

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  3. Methinks your Aussie mate is having a lend, yanking your chain, peeing in your pocket, farting in your ear, or just pulling your leg.

    That isn't an Aussie snake. It's an African rock python and would only be here if it was an illegal immigrant.

    Australia's largest python is the Amethystine (Scrub) Python. One has been recorded at a length of 8.5 metres (28 feet), but they generally range from 3 - 5 metres (10 - 16.5 feet). Regularly seen in backyards in Cairns, sometimes after just having snacked on the family pet.

    There is a terrific series of photos showing a Scrub Python devouring a kangaroo, which can be seen here; http://www.reptilepets.co.za/rp300812.htm

    Note the trim, healthy Australian physique as opposed to the lumbering thickness of its African counterpart.

    Hope this puts your mind at ease about visiting Australia. After all, the snakes are more frightened of you than you are of them.

    Live long and prosper.

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  4. Kazza the GullibleMay 25, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Oh, my gawd, CP! You guys DO that? Pee in pockets and fart in ears?

    (You really DON'T want me to come to Oz, do you??? And I'll bet you don't work for the tourism board!)

    Well... I'm not sure if I feel better, or worse... on the one hand... that's good to know. On the other... am I really that gullible, at the ripe old age of... well. Starting to get a bit soft to the touch, let's say...

    Hmmmm... this deserves some contemplation. Shall I get even, and if so... HOW? (You know, one of my Aussie friends is coming to visit in June... I could have some serious fun with this. How would Larry take it if I peed in his pocket, though? Not sure about farting in his ear. That seems rather rude, and I haven't perfected the art of doing it on command...)

    Snort!

    Love you, CP. Thanks for the info... I can always count on you.

    xx
    Kaz

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  5. I don't care what part of the world it is native to, that is still A LOT of snake! Look at those teeth!

    I'm with th Old Lady on this one, give me a big old bear ANY DAY!

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  6. The "Old Lady", indeed! Them's fighting words, bucko! You DO know I'm the arm wrassling champ of Somerset and Franklin Counties, three years in a row, don't you? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I told you that... You're just dying to prove me wrong, aren't you?

    Sunday, high noon? (Left-handed, please...)

    Heh... yeah, that's a honkin' big snake...

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  7. DC, In Trouble................May 25, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    Uh ohhhh, now I done it! :(

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  8. Oh, yeah, CP... those photos make me feel MUCH better! Judas Priest, lad! It swallowed a kangaroo WHOLE.

    I'm beginning to think none of you want me down there...

    That settles it. I'm gonna fart in Larry's ear.

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  9. I'm really NOT, you know! Hehehe... just reading that embarrassed me... snicker. I have no self-control at all, do I?

    Larry, sweetheart... if you happen to read this, I PROMISE... there'll be none of that, okay? I'll even take some Bean-o befoe picking you up at the airport! I promise! Nothing but good old Maine hospitality! And maybe some peeing in your pocket.

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  10. Oh, my God! I really DON'T have any self-control! Holy smokes, who let me loose online, anyway???

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  11. I once had a snake that ate mice, but that's the BIGGEST dang mouse I've ever seen!

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  12. You "had" a snake? As in... for a pet? In your house?

    Oh, man. Have I walked right by it?

    You "had" a snake?

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  13. DC, The Animal Guy.............May 26, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Don't worry, the only reptiles in the house right now are the garter snakes that live in the wood pile in the cellar!

    But, in my younger days, I had all kinds of critters. Remind me to tell you sometime about raising snapping turtles, catching fish to feed the Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle, my brief experience with an alligator, and why opposums make better pets than cats do................

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  14. I've got a photo of my pal Jack's possum, down Brisbane way... I'll see if I can throw that in there. He has a python (Monty, of course) in his tree, and he sent me a video of Monty eating "Hush"-- another possum he USED to have.

    Judas Priest... Oz!!!

    (Thunderstorm here!!! Yippee, I'm going OUT!)

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  15. The 'possums that I raised looked a little different than those from Down Under!

    We didn't get the thunder storm, just a little rain. You must have harnessed all the energy over on your side of the mountain.

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  16. I can do that, you know!

    I have great success with my rain dance over here. But you'll have to ask Ali g sometime how it worked when I tried to bring him some rain in New South Wales...

    :o)

    ohhhh, Ali.... where arrrre you????

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  17. well widespread rain forecast for central NSW over the next 3 days after a nice 26ml yesterday so have you been doing a gumboot dance? if so its certainly working good although need some run off to fill the dams please.[better take the gumboots off I guess....]
    re the snake didn't mean to suggest that that nasty big python pictures I sent you by email was an Ozzie snake. Those bastards are tame compared to the king browns that live in our yard here in Mudgee. Sent you a pic of a baby one that was on the carpet when we were having coffee the other morning. Thank heavens found it was dead but got a big scare when first saw it. One of the cats. [Chrissy or Wookie] must have brought it in as a present.

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  18. Hi Ali!

    Thanks for the photo of the baby brown... I'll post it when I get home from work.

    It's hard for that to engender the same type of horrid fascination, though. I guess the deadliest things come in the smallest package. Must be why no one's scared of me... I'm HUGE!

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  19. Don't worry about the snakes here in Oz - it's the spiders that are terrifying !!!

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  20. Oh, yeah! Remember that one a couple of months ago, hanging about over your door? I'd never sleep inside again!

    Of course, what's outside might be equally as fear-inspiring.

    The one thing I always try to remember? I've never yet met a spider who could survive my shoe! (Aw, now Jack's gonna give me heck for the wanton destruction of living creatures, you know that?

    Dang it. I'm bad!

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  21. You've never seen those giant camel spiders from the mid-east, have you? Or how about those banana spiders that the south americans actually roast and eat? Do you 'spose THEY care about your shoe????????????????

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  22. Have you SEEN my shoe? Or rather... my boot? I have some honkin' big feet! See up above for proof... no arachnid is safe!!!

    None... not even the one Ali sent me!

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  23. Oh My God !!!
    Did you really have to include that FUGLY spider......ugh (shudder)
    Your boot may be good but I would prefer a shotgun when confronted with something like that.....

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  24. Hehehe... my mother once took a shotgun to a rat which was on the steps leading to our cellar.

    We couldn't go to the basement until the following weekend, after my father bought some lumber... kaboom! No rat... no stairs.

    Hehehe... don't be messing with MY mum!

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  25. A spider like that; yup, a good heavy load of #6's, or even 4's, would probably be better than a boot, even YOUR big, honkin' boot!

    I knew I liked your Mother! Reminds me of a story my Grandmother used to tell: At a young age [maybe 10 or 12], she had a run in with a snake. She had to draw some water, but there was a BIG snake curled up in front of the well. Well, being home alone at the farm, she did the only reasonable thing. She got her Father's shogun, and she blasted it!

    At just that moment, her parents were coming up the long farm lane, and at the sound of the shot, her Father whiped the horses into a run.

    Granny was sure she whould catch hell for using the shotgun, but her Father, after seeing that she was OK, just gave her a short lecture about the difference between poisonous snakes, and the non-poisonous Black snakes [like the one she shot] that ate the mice and rats out of the barn.

    Even 70 years later, Granny allowed as how she didn't care WHAT kind of snake it was; it was between her and the well, and that was all there was to it!

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  26. Was that your Irish gran, or the German one? Me mum's the Irish side o'me...

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  27. That was the German side of the family. They've been on this side of the pond for a lot of generations, and every generation knew how to shoot!

    The Irish side hasn't been her but a couple of generations, and until my generation, wasn't much for guns; although I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere back along, some them might have plinked a few Britisher's..............

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    Replies
    1. This isn't real at all constrictors don't have fangs such bs

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