Keeping Warm

Morelia spilota (Carpet Python)

Morelia spilota (Carpet Python)

I can’t take credit for these photos or for finding the snake  but  I can tell a story to go with them.

This lovely Carpet Python was keeping warm in a sunny patch well hidden in long grass along the edge of our newest wetland system.  Although we have a lot of natural regeneration of trees and smaller herbaceous plants around the edges of the wetlands it is necessary for us to control the weeds which take every opportunity to multiply.  Allen was using a cane knife to cut down some clumps of Guinea Grass (Panicum maximum) – the species name gives you a clue about its potential size –  and luckily he works carefully keeping an eye out for sheltering creatures so he saw the snake before it was in any danger.

Carpet snake head close-up

If you look carefully in the last photo you can see the bulge – of what we are not sure – which we presume was the snake’s most recent meal.   After taking the photo Allen pulled some dead vegetation over the snake in the hope that the Whistling Kite wouldn’t spot it as it made one of its regular sweeps over the property.   The snake was in the same place later in the day so it doesn’t seem to have been too put out by the camera’s brief intrusion into its post prandial basking in the warmth.

Carpet snake showing bulge

So how many turtles can sit on one log?  Again I can’t claim accolades for the photograph but it goes with the ‘warmth’ theme.  The photo of these Saw-shelled Freshwater turtles was taken from some distance away in order to capture the group before they spotted the photographer and plopped into the water.

Saw-shelled Turtles (Elseya latisternum)

Saw-shelled Turtles (Elseya latisternum)

7 responses to “Keeping Warm

  1. I love the photo of all the turtles on that log!

  2. The snake images are great.
    Wonderful creatures.
    I also like the Turtles on the log.

    • Thanks Denis – I have always been fascinated with snakes in spite of “learning to fear” them when I was young growing up on a farm in Victoria. My first close encounters with pythons in the tropics were in the poultry shed but even faced with the loss of a chook I couldn’t get really cross with the snake as it just wanted a feed!

  3. Nice one Barbara.
    It’s also nice to know that you guys care enough for the native species to slash weeds by hand. What would the average person do? Use a mechanical slasher or worse, just spray the lot!
    All power to you and your wonderful restoration project.

    • Hi Gouldiae, Thanks for your comment. While we use a combination of hand weeding and hand slashing around the wetland areas we find it necessary to use some weedicide in our revegetation projects for the two of us to effectively manage the work required.

  4. Hi Barbara, and here I thought I was being so polite and careful in what I said!! No, I don’t like snakes! At least I don’t run screaming from them – but I can’t imagine ever admiring them 😦 I grew up in NZ – no snakes there! Also spent some time in the USA where my friends taught me to stay a healthy distance from snakes – especially rattlers! So I guess I would have a fair bit to re-learn if I ever had to admire them.

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