Summer time on the Deck

It is a lovely summer day here in the Huon Valley Southern Tasmania. In the 20+ years I have lived in my home, I have only seen a snake 3 times in my surrounds. The first was a black snake, just slithering across the road as my dogs and I were going up the road for a walk. The second was last year I was watering the garden and one slithered rapidly away.

Today I went out onto my deck which is 1metre(3foot) off the ground. I was moving something, and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement, black and yellow stripes..slithering really fast, away it was not super close, about 1 meter from me it was a suprised by me, as I was by it.

It was a tiger snake. I had forgotten Tiger snakes can climb up human structures. There is so much bush around my home.

This image is not mine I apologise I am unable to locate whose it is. If it is yours I am happy to acknowledge it.

Tiger snakes in the wild have a broad diet that includes fish, frogs and tadpoles, lizards, birds and mammals, as well as carrion. As the size of the snake increases, so to does the average prey size, however this increase is achieved not by larger snakes giving up on small prey but by them taking more large prey. Tiger snakes are largely diurnal and hunt for prey during the daylight hours; however they will forage on warm evenings. They will readily search underwater and can stay under for at least 9 minutes. A bat was found in the stomach of one museum specimen, demonstrating the tiger snake’s ability to climb. Invertebrates have also been found in tiger snake stomachs however these could have been taken as part of carrion; other taxa such as grasshoppers and moths however may have been ingested as prey. Cannibalism amongst wild tiger snakes has also been reported. Prey items are grasped and subdued quickly by the powerful venom, with sometimes constriction being employed as well.

Available prey size is thought to play an important role in dictating the adult size of tiger snakes in some island populations. For example, on Chappell Island the snakes are typically very large and take advantage of the seasonal abundance of fat muttonbird chicks, whereas on Roxby Island where there are no nesting seabirds the dwarf population of snakes survive on mostly small skinks.
https://australian.museum/learn/animals/reptiles/tiger-snake/

There are three snakes found in Tasmania and all are venomous. Though one the white lipped snake has never had any recorded deaths from its bite.
Whilst my snake was easily to identify by its colours not all tiger snakes in Tasmania have such clear markings.

Fact, not fiction

  • The forked tongue is not venomous but is actually a chemical brush used to transfer molecules to the Jacobson’s organ in the roof of the mouth, where the snakes sense of taste and smell is located. A widely forked tongue increases the ability of a snake to track its prey.
  • Snakes do not have ears and cannot hear sound. Instead they detect sound by sensing vibrations passing through the ground.
  • Snakes’ skin is not slimy and normally it is dry.
  • Snakes are not attracted to milk beyond the fact that it is wet and easy to find by smell.
  • The venom toxicity of a juvenile snake is the same as that of an adult although they usually produce less venom.
  • Less than 10% of newborn snakes survive to adulthood. Most are eaten by predators, such as birds or feral cats, or are killed by humans.
  • In reality the danger presented by snakes is not nearly as great as perceived. Sporting accidents, dog attacks, lightning strikes and even peanuts cause more human deaths in Australia than snakebite.
  • In Tasmania the presence of the Blue-tongued skink (lizard) is no indication that snakes are absent.
  • Tasmanian snakes are unlikely to attack people unless they feel trapped or threatened. It is easy to mistake a snakes bluff or an attempt to reach shelter for an attack.
  • https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/fauna-of-tasmania/reptiles-and-frogs/tasmanian-snakes


Southern Grass Skink | Department of Primary Industries ...
Photo from Department of Primary Industry and Environment Tasmania
  • This is a skink.
I am sorry I am not able tocredit the photographer for this photo.

This is an eastern blue tongue lizard.

I realise that on my deck are little frogs. So it may also have been after those. ​I also realised I was up really late this morning and normally I fill the large plant pot saucer of water I leave out for the echidna, the blue tongues and snakes. So this lovely guy/gal may have been looking for water too. All available on my deck.

So many people are terrified of snakes. Yet hop into their car every day with out thinking.
The last recorded death from snake bite in Tasmania up until January 2020 was in 1977. As sad and hard for the family of Mr Fish who died in 2020 Two deaths in 50 years makes snakes bite risk pretty good for humans.

Of course dogs and and other animals get bitten and some die. If your know your dog has been near a snake rather than wait to see if it has been bitten, take it to the vets. Waiting can cost the dog its life.

If your dog is barking at a snake get the hose, and direct it at the dog to force it away.. giving the snake time to flee.

As I live in a rural area I am fine having snakes about my home. They do not want to harm me as I do not want to harm them. During summer I usually do not let them out by themselves. But I do thump the ground when I walk and slam my front door. Since snakes react to vibration rather than noise.

My Grandfather my pop was a rabbiter , he raised his family in a tent in the Australian bush and he told me in regard to snakes that they do not want to use their venom on humans as it is how they kill their food. They are scared of humans so just walk away.

He also told us to respect them and look at their beauty. He also said not to remove one from our area if we have one as another will move in. The one you had knows your patterns and will try to stay out of your way. The new one wont.

I will be making more thumps when out on the deck and about the garden.

I do not fear snakes, I respect them keep my distance. I provide water for them so they do not have to come looking for it. I will not be leaving any of my doors open for the foreseeable future..

blessings to You, Tazzie





A little day out




I was heading to Cygnet to catch up with a friend at the bakery. Great food and coffee. Wonderful croissants. Local fruit ice cream and sorbets so delicious made on the premises too. It was Friday, and the Cygnet Folk Festival would be starting in the afternoon. Yet the town was already busy as organisational stuff and food trucks, venues and staging were all happening all the place.
My friend and I enjoyed people watching. I had my dogs with me. They were petted and commented on by lots of people.

Red Velvet Lounge Vegetarian/Vegan cafe with banner
Busby chilling at the Bakery
Food vendor
Folk Festival crew putting out recycling bins
Bakery (wood fired oven in curved bit, ) seating hay bales
Friday afternoon and the town and park getting busy

A walk around town was an interesting experience, even though the festival has not officially started there are lots of people about and some really strange things to see

Local volunteer fire fighter checking the fire

I am not really sure what the idea of this really is but as far as contraptions go it was quite exceptional. A piano that when played light flames and smokes. I might see it at night when I imagine it will be even more awesome. My friend is playing it and one of my neighbours (the fire fighter tshirt) is looking at it. (you can see joyfully for me rain clouds forming, not so good for the festival.

food van
playing the weird piano,
a friends 17 year old dog
A wary local
great decorations in this house,
same garden a very personal collection
a moment to meditate by the creek

My dogs and I went down to a lovely dog friendly spot down on the bay, and Miss Treacle and Busby had fun racing about sniffing and marking, as I took some photos. I was sitting watching some swans and cranes landing. As well as the sun slowly sinking behind the hills.

Miss Treacle by the bay
Sun setting
a look at the bay
The colours of the timber under the bark on this eucalyptus was eye catching in the sunlight
sitting waiting for me
Normally a Reserve this area is full of campers and campervans for the festival weekend

As the dogs were running around I was listening to some music coming from across the bay. I could hear beating drums and a beautiful voice. Looking back towards town (photo above )you can see white amongst the trees, tents and campervans fill the reserve and sadly access is not permitted to the locals who walk through it ever day or go to take their kids to the play area for the weekend. Or to see the birds in the bird sanctuary. It is only one weekend a year I guess. People pay to camp here about $40 for the weekend three nights .

Glamping accommodation

To the left you can see the white tents, these are for Glamping accommodation at the festival

Two photos below are looking down over the main st.

Main street
looking over Cygnet

the valley of Cygnet
driving home

It is a pretty valley and the township is settled adjacent to a lovely bay. Mindy you being an Island it is not hard to have water near you.

The end to the day was a little similar to the beginning in that we came across another native critter on the road. This time a wallaby eating grass on the side of the road. I stopped to let it get away without any danger from my car.

It is less than three seconds it moved and got away. They can be so hard to avoid on our roads, which is why I try to travel at 40km p/h especially during dawn and dusk but also at night when they are about.

I do apologise for the quality of these photos in this post. I had to change them from a SLR camera setting to a JPEg and it seems to have made a huge difference to the shots.

I do find that in among a lot of noise and people something I once enjoyed, I no longer do. I find myself enjoying the periphery of things. After walking through Cygnet today and listening to the music and the noise, traffic and smells. I was needing to get away from it. So I was really chuffed that there was no one else down on the point where the dogs and I spent a lovely time. My CPTSD does impact me greatly sometimes. I know I am better than I have been in quite a long time. I do come home from this sort of thing exhausted and just basically spend the next 24 hours in a semi immobile state. Hard to explain to people who have not experienced it. I do feel sometimes, that it is the after effects of going out and being part of the world/community place I live, is often what stops me. My progress here is that I now know this. I now accept this is me and my life in the present time. Instead of pushing myself and doing the expected I dont anymore. That in itself is a wonderful difference. Knowing my limits, and retreating. One of my favourite things is saying I am content with the discontent.

Tazzie

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