My latest resident

I have more to tell about my trip to Western Australia, but in between I have to keep you up-to-date with the ongoing news on the mountain. On the second day of Spring, the Diamond Python arrived. 

The day was warm and sunny; I was hanging out washing. Out of the corner of one eye, this is what I saw.

Now I know better than to panic about a non-venomous python — at least, not when it’s out on the open lawn, rather than in my shower, or trying to come inside.

So you could say I was pretty relaxed about watching it from only a slight distance. I do marvel at the way it seems to follow itself in one long and powerful undulation.

I also wanted to see where it was heading with such uphill purpose, past the vegetable garden, past the Nashi tree.

I should have known. Of course it was heading for the shed. As I watched it ooze effortlessly up the stems of the massive jasmine vine, it seemed to know exactly where it was going. 

Did this mean it had previously resided in the woody twists and weaves of vine that so thickly covers this old tin wall before? 

Or was it aiming for one of the many gaps beneath the unlined roof? Had it lived inside the shed — and how often had I missed its bright patterning draped across the dim rafters while I pottered about below?

Yes, I know it means I won’t have bush rats in there — but what about baby quolls?

And what about me? I’m nervous enough already going in to that overcrowded and shadowy place, always with one eye on the dark recesses beside my feet. If I have to keep the other eye on the dark spaces above my head, or in between — finding anything will be very difficult!

15 thoughts on “My latest resident”

  1. You don’t see them (but they are definitely around) because they’re quite shy and being arboreal they spend the light hours wrapped tightly around the highest branches by day, and are active at night. However I see one about every 6-8 months. Just a few days ago there was a very slow one on the road so I was able to get some decent shots of it. Last time I was so surprised that all the photos came out blurry because I was shaking from excitement when I turned around to see one slither out of the ginger bush behind me with a decent size lunch lump (it looked about pigeon size whatever the snack was, I was gunning for a Brown Cuckoo-Dove).

  2. I was thinking you could professionally write as I read your story, lo and behold I spot your books advertised on the right hand side of screen…

  3. Lorraine, people kept asking me how, and why, so I wrote the book! 80,000 or so words later is the answer. Sorry!

  4. Sharyn – thanks for the advice. It was right next to a wallaby track too!I will be buying your books to discover how you worked it all out. My land isn’t as isolated as yours – but still a fair way from town – right in the middle of a state forest. Staying there alone in my old ‘van will be my first thing I will have to get used to. Friends are coming up to camp over Easter (maybe I will wait a couple of years until the house is built before I stay by myself).

  5. Hi Lorraine,
    Wow, a tiger snake is something else! I tend to always wear gumboots outside, and go walking in the bush (off wallaby tracks) only in the colder months. Don’t give up on the dream; I haven’t been bitten yet and my fear– well documented in my books! – is lessening slowly. This is my 9th year on my own here – the occasional snake panic is worth it.
    All the best with the project,

  6. While searching the ‘net for info on snakes I came across this wonderful site. I have just bought 67 acres in Victoria where I will build my home to retire to in a couple of years. Middle of the bush, by myself. Last weekend while wandering around my bush block I came face to face with a tiger snake, all coiled up and ready to have a go – about 2 metres from me. Now I really understand the words ‘bowels turned to water, seized by panic, so scared I wanted to vomit’ etc. I have to learn to live with these guys or turn my back on my dream!

  7. Hi Darian, amazing what a few degrees of latitude and a few thousand feet of height does to the fauna variety! I see very few pythons at all.

  8. Wow, he or she is a beauty. We have about six genii here. I think I’ve only ever seen two that look what I would describe as similar. This again is a bit different from anything I have seen.

  9. Don’t worry Laura, every long strip of bark lying on the grass gets a sharp glance! Haven’t seen it since– or the possum for that matter…

  10. Crikey that was a big snake….! Can’t wait to see some more posts on the life of the diamond python. Keep those eyes peeled though, Sharyn and watch where you step!

  11. Thanks John. I try to intersperse the bad news (coal) with the good – nature still triumphs somewhere; glad it helps.

  12. I should come back here more often to hear the words my soul needs for added peace and inspiration. Indeed the diamond python and the fancy of housing selection, so warm beneath or beside the tin in the labryinth of climbing vinery. A summer home to envy. And meanwhile, out at Wybong, the joeys skip along with the herd seeking refuge in the regrowth forest from the monster ‘car’ – as its master departs on the Groundhog Day journey to work. Alas, how I miss the days of ‘leisure’ when working on future of a ‘farm’ was all that mattered and I could observe the comings and goings of the birds, mammals, reptiles and weather. However although for me such may be gone by 7 each day I know I can come back here and be refreshed in the sharing of lifeforce that Sharyn provides. Thanks Sharyn for this fresh watering hole in an otherwise polluted life filled with coal, its dusts, heavy metals, salts and fouled aromas. I’ll be back to be imbued of ‘the mountain’ again soon !

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