Sunday, 15 March 2009

Snakes alive!

Later identified as a Black-bellied Swamp Snake
As Nick and I were sitting beside the campfire one night (happily drinking hot chocolate, after sampling a very fine camp oven bread and butter pudding), we were visited by this juvenile snake.

Over the years there has been lots of debate as to whether snakes are or are not nocturnal (try saying "not nocturnal" fast, three times!) - and it seemed this one definitely enjoyed the night-life!

The amateur snake-catcher!
Given the curiousity of our young boy, we decided to relocate the snake.  Nick was armed with long-handled tongs (and a rice bag). I had the torch.

Nick was not keen to clamp the tongs too tight and damage the snake - and the snake was not keen to stay still, so it was an interesting exercise!

As torch-bearer, I was a bit too skittish to be overly useful but eventually the snake was caught - and gently moved a considerable distance away from our camp.

Lovely leeches

Pines Camping Area, Watagan State Forest
This guy/gal had already stolen a loaf of bread!
Our first camping trips were short, making the best use of Nick's rostered days off. After the success of our January adventure, we returned to the forest for two nights in March (shortly before our Dubbo Zoo holiday).

It did rain a little while we were there but nothing major. There were a few leeches to keep Vaughan happy.

They were scooped up with mutterings of "come here my gorgeous" - and then kept in a (recycled!) 3-litre juice bottle!

Of course, the rest of us find it difficult to appreciate the beauty of the blood-suckers and Erin in particular generally wears her longest striped socks, hoping bright colours will deter any leeches (or she will spot them more easily when they attempt to assail her legs)!

(Vaughan's bottle of "lovely leeches" is resting on the seat in the second pic).