As if I hadn’t had enough trouble with the older generation of red-bellied black snakes, the established adults, I now seem to have a new, cheekier generation.
The other day, over the top of my glasses, and my computer, I caught a dark movement amongst the leafy verandah screen.
A fluid, flowing dark movement — as only a red-bellied black snake has imprinted on my mind.
It oozed over the bird-feeder edge and down to the verandah boards. Now I have known — theoretically — that snakes could come onto the verandah and I have made a snake-screen door for that reason — I don’t care about flies!
But I had been thinking of the python — of tree snakes, harmless — not of my nemesis, the red-bellied black.
I stamped behind the screen door, complained loudly; it formed its front into an interrogative question mark and waited to see what was what in this strange terrain. And stayed like that.
I grabbed the camera, realised I couldn’t take a photo through the green shadecloth ‘screen’ door, so I scraped the door open, still ranting.’You’d think a person could have a verandah to herself — that wasn’t much to ask! I can’t believe you just did that! Is nowhere safe?????!!!!!!’
I took this shot.
Nobody likes a whinger. The slim and sprightly snake slid over the edge. I thought of all the times I’d padded about the verandah not in my gum boots, or lounged on the chaise longue — well, not often enough for the latter — too busy; but you get my point. I had felt safe on the verandah. Fool! I’d gotten complacent, yet again. Big mistake.