I love winter, not because of the rain or snuggling by the fire but because the snakes are asleep! Before I moved to Gobbler's Run I had never seen a snake, well not face to face! As my house is in a (very) small town I thought that there would be no snakes and therefore nothing to worry about. Could I have been any wronger???
My first encounter happened towards the start of November. I had just made myself a cuppa and decided to stroll around the garden. As I stepped out the front door my blood froze. 30cm of tail disappeared under my tomato. Panic ensued as I ran to grab my cat, OK cat safe. Oh my god a snake!
The photo of the front of my house shows the letter boxes lined up across the road. Just then a local farmer pulled up to get his mail. I don't think I have ever travelled down my front path with such speed or agility before or since. I ran screaming toward the farmer, still in his ute. The look on his face as I almost jumped in his window blabbering something about a snake.
He had his elderly mum in the ute as well so they both got out, I think to help calm me down. She had just been released from hospital so she hobbled over to my yard and proceeded to poke about the tomatoes with her walking stick! The farmer, armed now with a large shovel started at the other end of the garden banging and crashing through the beds. I was still crying and standing out in the middle of the road.
I was thinking of selling when another local farmer pulled up to see why I was standing in the middle of the road. I explained about the snake and he suggested I lay some black bird netting around. He said he would go and get me some and show me how to use it. Well no sign of the snake and my tomatoes looked a bit worse for wear I started to calm down. The first farmer and his mother clambered out of my garden empty handed and I thanked them for helping. Then the second farmer returned with lengths of fine black bird netting. I couldn't understand how it was supposed to work but all three assured me that it did.
I lay the netting everywhere and retired for the night. After work the next day I had worked up enough courage to check the nets, I really wasn't convinced they would work.
S**t, got one, S**t. There it was looking straight at me. Tiny black eyes, all caught up in the netting. Hissing, it's tail writhing, curling over and over. I grabbed the shovel. Whack, whack. I could hear a sort of wailing then realized it was me. Whacking and wailing. A car pulled up over the road. A lady collecting her mail. She took a look at me and left. I can't imagine what she thought of me. Finally I stopped, right it's dead, time to cry hysterically again. Just then the farmer who had helped me the day before pulled up. "Seen any more snakes?" he asked. I guess he could tell that I had by the look on my face. He walked in and looked at the mess at my feet. "Well, good job, dead as" he said, "Want me to get ridofhimforya?" I just nodded, sure was all I could manage. He bent down and picked up the headless snake, pulled it free from the netting and tossed it and the head in the back of the ute. So bring on winter!