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All photos by PHN unless specified otherwise, or unless he be in them

Sally and the Snake


The folly of messing with browns...

She killed it - tore it to pieces - and it killed her.

Jade snake nets the pen where it happened. At least 'Sally's' son
'Archie' is saved.

Red Belly Black Snake

Brown Snake on canvas out
on the lawn

Bearded Dragon

Frill-Neck Lizard

Peter getting that intimate snake photo

Blue Tongue Lizard



Tortoise (Myrtle)


Snake Tales

Snakes have always been more
prevalent at The Big House than
anywhere else on the whole

Up until the mid 1990’s
we had lots of cats – up to 9 at
one stage. Cats love snakes.

It is a game to them. We lost
cats to snakebite as a result.
I decided to net the whole yard,
which back then was around
3 acres in area, with fine
bird mesh.

It was a big job – slow,
fiddly work. When the job was
complete I sat back with the
satisfaction at last no snake
was going to get in here.

A few days went by.

Then I was to learn I hadn’t just
fenced the snakes out, but I had
actually fenced the ones living
here with us, IN.

I had actually fenced 5
snakes inside with us.

This is one (4th phto down in centre column) I caught trying to escape.
It went through the fine mesh until
it got stuck. Then it tried to come
back in one of the other holes till it
again got stuck. It tried to go back
out through another hole ...
Trapped in 3 places



Snake Tales

Back in the 1960’s I discovered a big brown in the skillion roof shed just across from The Hut. It was moving at a pace that defied belief. It wasn’t so much the pace it moved though that fascinated me most but rather that all its movement was up amongst the rafters of the roof.

How it could hang on while moving at such pace defied belief.

The whole incident only lasted minutes while it hunted, and then spooked by me it vacated down to the ground and disappeared.

Early 1980’s we were mustering sheep in the paddock we call Lower Hammonds. I was riding the very first motor bike I ever owned, a 125cc, 2 stroke Honda.

Approaching down a slope to a steep gully, right in front of me was a medium size Red Belly Black. I expected it to vacate the space when it got wind of me. No, it kept coming till its head was at the front wheel.

Bikes don’t have reverse gear. The ground was rough and it wasn’t possible to get the stand down to prop the bike, so I lay it gently on its left side, stepped back, letting the snake go past.

Suddenly the snake was gone and I did not see where.

In the longish grass I could but assume I had simply missed it pass.

I stood the bike up and was just throwing my leg over to get on again, when suddenly a thought occurred to me. By now I could get the bike stand down and in place, so I did.

These Hondas had a hinged, sideways lifting seat. I released the lock and raised the seat. There curled up under the seat that I was about to sit on was the snake. It was as comfortable as you could wish, just like it was waiting for me to give it a lift to the top of the paddock.

Now disturbed, it slithered very leisurely down through the front wheel and spokes, onto the ground and completely immersed itself in a single clump of Bull-grass (Tussock). Once again, totally hidden.


Snakes mating

Snake Tales

Have you ever tried mustering up 4 cats and herding them in the opposite direction, when they are fixated on challenging a brown snake, from 4 differing directions??

I came back to the house one morning just in time to catch our four cats with a big brown bailed up at the back kitchen door.

This access to the house is very restrictive with brick wall of the house on two sides and a brick retaining wall on a third. A concrete path less than 2 meters wide runs through the middle.

The snake was trapped and it knew it, repeatedly striking at the cats. All I could think to do was grab one cat at a time, with about one second of time between each, and hurling them as far as I could, out of the way.

By the time the 4th cat was sent into orbit, the first was back at the snake again.

I don’t know how long I kept this up but it was a losing battle. I faced the fact, I would have to leave the cats to fend for themselves for a couple of minutes, while I got the rifle.

Those days we could keep a rifle nearby for such tasks. Today they are supposed to be locked up and by the time you get to it the snake has long done what it set out to do.

Then I had the task of trying to hit a snake moving with lighting speed and not shoot a cat, or shatter the glass in the kitchen door, by accident instead.

The cats did survive.

There are lots more Snake Tales but these are the ones I consider most ‘striking’ ... if you will forgive my choice of wording.



Skink for dinner


Sneaky sheds his skin

Note: His eye sockets

New Years Eve surprise:

Click to open

Redbelly Black snake eating a Brown
Article from the Northern Daily Leader

Red Belly Black eating a Brown.
Photograph by Pat Paton at Little Jack's Creek, Willow Tree 1979







Snake Dance: Too young to be mating at this early stage of their lives, although what they are doing is similar in action, likely it is a game or fight.

Later in life male browns do a thing like this when fighting over a female. It is an effort to subdue (or exhaust) the opponent

(Images taken: 22 February 2014)











Tuesday 25 February 2014

I did the usual snake patrol about 4.30 pm before letting any dogs
into the pen and all was clear. But by 7 pm this had gotten in
somewhere, in spite of all the netting and snake netting.

Sally (picture of her taken two weeks earlier) was about
20 steps in front of me, saw it first and had hold of it in a flash.
In the seconds it took for me to get to her she had already bitten
and shaken the thing with a fury.

Poppy was right there with her but had enough fear
to hold back from the actual attack.

Dogs fine – so far. Snake dead.

RBB poison can take a number of days to show its effect on a dog.
It can be slow working. Waiting and watching ...

9th March, 2014

Went out to feed the dogs. One bark of alert from one dog
and I spotted this at the same time.

Note: It has just enjoyed a BIG dinner. There was a brand new Bluetongue
here at this spot yesterday. I lectured it, if it didn’t move on it would be
chomped up by Cracker, who loves lizard pursuit and kill.

Snake might have beaten Cracker to it.

About 5 feet long when held up by the tail.