Category Archives: Reptiles

A Snake update; under the covers

A peak under the weed pile plastic yesterday afternoon didn’t reveal any reptiles but Allen did find a small clutch of eggs.  However, when he returned after dark, once the day had cooled down, he found a Carpet Python curled tightly around her eggs.  About 400 mm apart, also taking advantage of the warm, dry place was an Amethyst Python nestled well under the vegetation.

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1-Carpet with eggs on left; Amethyst on right

The pink arrows point to the snakes.  Carpet python on the left and the Amethyst Python on the right.

This morning they were both still there – we moved a bit of vegetation away from the Carpet Python’s head and as she moved it was possible to get a glimpse of an egg.  After a couple of quick photos we carefully replaced the plastic and weed mat and left them both in peace.

As far as we know there is only one clutch of eggs – we’ll try to keep an eye on events under the cover without causing too much disturbance.

Sunny days again

A beautiful sunny morning after several days of rain and I wasn’t the only one happy to enjoy the warmth of the sun today.
This Carpet Python was basking on the weed pile plastic this morning ……. the Amethyst Python photographed a couple of days ago wasn’t visible but we didn’t check under the plastic as we didn’t want to disturb whatever arrangement they had.  The two species don’t usually hang out together so we suspect they are taking turns.

1-Carpet Python on weed pile

Carpet Python (Morelia spilota)

1-Carpet Python - close up

Meanwhile the chooks are having green feed brought into their outside run as we think it’s a bit risky to let them out when the weed pile is one of their favourite places to scratch.  I enjoy having pythons around but I draw the line at providing them with a feathered meal!

It’s not always about the birds ……

Several days of rain has cooled our ambient temperature somewhat and I found this beautiful Amethyst python (Morelia amethistina) lying on some black plastic that I use to cover my weed pile.   The snake was seemingly content to absorb the warmth from the plastic and made no attempt to move but as the pile of weeds is quite close to the chook pen I decided to leave the girls inside for a while.

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Maximizing exposure of its’ body to the warmth of the plastic.

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A closer view showing a glimpse of the iridescence shining on the skin.

Then a short time later Allen called me outside to look at a different snake he had uncovered while cleaning up a dead palm that had collapsed.  It’s not a particularly good photo as this little reptile was feeling rather vulnerable and was not wanting to pose for a photo.  As we were not entirely sure of its’ identity at the time, we were not inclined to pick it up for closer examination.

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Identification has been suggested to be Small-eyed Snake (Cryptophis nigrescens)

 

Gardening with Friends

Carlia longipes While weeding the garden I was amused to have this little skink (Carlia longipes I think) waiting to see what delicacies I unearthed in the process.  It was quite distracting, in a delightful sort of way, to watch his antics and I finally decided to go inside for a camera.  Although I  mostly couldn’t identify what he was eating I did see him rush towards me, impossibly close to focus, and grab a juicy little caterpillar. Carlia longipes I have since discovered that while the heavy steps of a person walking will send them into hiding, quiet weeding noises make them curious.  I am going to be much slower weeding the garden in future but it is going to be lots more fun with my new friends –  I know he is not alone out there because we watch them basking on rocks and paving stones and dashing about grabbing insects.  I’m just glad the chooks were still locked up as they also like to “help” in the garden and this story may have had a different ending.

Cool green theme for a hot day

Today the temperature rose dramatically but the humidity remained low, a breeze was blowing and it would have been enjoyable weather if it hadn’t been for the smoke haze from the extensive fires on the Atherton Tablelands.  As an ex-resident of country Victoria I particularly dislike smoky, hot, dry days.

After spending a beautiful (and productive) morning in the garden I went looking for the Barred Cuckoo-shrikes I could hear – they were feeding out-of-sight in a large fig tree but I had a happy time observing the Double-eyed Fig-parrots that were much lower down in the same tree, along with Fig Birds and Yellow Orioles.  The melodic calls of the Yellow Orioles seem to increase in frequency as the weather warms until they become a background to our summer days.

wild_wings_swampy_things_birds_yellow oriole Continue reading

Mud, mud glorious mud ……….

The last few months of dry, windy weather has been quite a contrast to last year’s seemingly endless ‘wet’.  The windy periods usually ease off later in the afternoon – a delightful time to be enjoying the outside.
Some of our shallow ponds are mere puddles and there are lots of exposed bank which can make for some interesting sightings – many not captured on camera owing to hands being full with other equipment!

wild_wings_swampy_things_reptiles_keelback snake

This Keelback or Freshwater Snake (Tropidonophis mairii), one of many that we have recently sighted, is of the typical colouration that we see in our area.  Continue reading

Casting off the old….

…skin and although I sometimes fantasize about a total skin renewal, this post is about snakes.  I’ve written about Carpet Pythons in a previous post ‘Keeping Warm’ but this particular Carpet Python (Morelia spilota), resting on some mown grass near one of our ponds, was just starting to slough its old skin.  Continue reading

Boodjamulla – Lawn Hill National Park …. Part 2

Although we’ve been home for more than a week it has taken a little while to settle down to writing and we have had the distraction of family visiting as well – that’s enough excuses!  We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and have many treasured memories, not always accompanied by a photo! The following are a few of my favourites.

Continue reading

Keelbacks in the Shallows

As I was showing my brother David the growth in the vegetation in our newest wetland system he pointed to some ripples coming across the water and we wondered if it might be a snake.  The source of the ripples was just out of sight so we both stood quietly watching the movement coming closer Continue reading

Scales of Colour

This handsome Mertens’ Water Monitor (Varanus mertensi) frequently appeared sun-bathing on rocks or hunting in the water near our campsite on Five Mile Creek in Lakefield National Park.  Continue reading