22 December 2011

Tidbinbilla Red Bellies. Images of Canberra

| Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images
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snake sunbake

Taken at the weekend out at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, a pair of Red Belly Black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus or ‘red bellies’) basking placidly in the sun – aren’t they beautiful!

I thought it might serve as a timely seasonal reminder for owners of pets and small children to vigilant about snakes as the warm weather approaches.

(Summer eh? who’d have thought it!)

[ED – Got an image of Canberra you want to share with the world? Email it to images@the-riotact.com , More of Geoff’s picture on Lushpup Images]

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Zombie thread! I love this photo. They’re my favourite snakes.

kumadude said :

The browns were huge and would rise up and stare you down, you could see the muscles rippling along their mouth….scariest s*** I have ever seen.

Sounds like a King Brown. We had a family of them in the bottom paddock. They are super aggressive and HUGE! When they rise up in cobra mode, they are tall enough to look you in the eye.

It’s also possible to be bitten by a King Brown without it putting on a big show. This happened to my grandmother. The only way she knew she had been bitten was because she started showing symptoms of poisoning, and by identifying the symptoms she was able to make a reasonably educated guess as to what had bit her and get treatment.

Luckily, their poison is extremely slow acting and it’s possible to achieve a mild natural immunity if you’re lucky enough to survive your first bite.

GardeningGirl11:27 am 06 Nov 13

They are most beautiful snakes the old red bellies, generally seen near water.

The one we saw was on the wetlands walk.

maxblues said :

. . Once at Tidbinbilla, I saw a researcher taking water samples from a creek. I told him not to take a step backwards because there was a red belly black right behind him. He froze, realized I wasn’t joking, then slowly stepped forward. The snake couldn’t care less and we were able to line up my mate’s kids to watch the snake slowly make its way along the creek.

Nice to hear of kids getting to appreciate nature. Nice that you noticed the snake and all involved were able to happily go on their way!

qbngeek said :

If you want to see some tiger snakes I recommend the archery range and dog club at Queanbeyan. There at at least four tigers calling it home at the moment, very nearly stepped on two of them a few weeks ago. It is also home to quite a few copperheads. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had blacks and browns as well.

The copperheads can often be seen on sunny days in the cooler months as they will hunt all year round if the weather is warm enough.

I fish the Queanbeyan a hell of alot and have red bellies swim past me three times below the small bridge. (Un)luckily I have not seen any tigers or copperheads yet, though a council guy told me there are a few around the bike track before it heads uphill to the cemetery. Living up the coast near Bangalow we had pythons, tree snakes, reds and browns. The browns were huge and would rise up and stare you down, you could see the muscles rippling along their mouth….scariest s*** I have ever seen.

I’ve seen a couple of these at Tidbinbilla on one of the walking trails. One of them was sunning itself, and just stayed there while we walked (or rather cautiously hopped) right over him.

GardeningGirl said :

Great photo!

ConanOfCooma said :

Blacks will make it their mission to get out of your way, they are very timid and shy.

Mr Gardening was taking my photo at Tidbinbilla once… “go back a bit, step back, yeah, that’s good, NO, COME FORWARD RIGHT NOW!” Snake calmly slithered away to look for somewhere more peaceful than the side of the path.

Once at Tidbinbilla, I saw a researcher taking water samples from a creek. I told him not to take a step backwards because there was a red belly black right behind him. He froze, realized I wasn’t joking, then slowly stepped forward. The snake couldn’t care less and we were able to line up my mate’s kids to watch the snake slowly make its way along the creek.

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images1:49 pm 29 Dec 11

Thank you everyone who took the time to leave a comment and say nice things πŸ™‚

Gorgeous! I hope you backed away very slowly after this photo was taken, the fellow on the left looks a bit too interested.

If you want to see some tiger snakes I recommend the archery range and dog club at Queanbeyan. There at at least four tigers calling it home at the moment, very nearly stepped on two of them a few weeks ago. It is also home to quite a few copperheads. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had blacks and browns as well.

The copperheads can often be seen on sunny days in the cooler months as they will hunt all year round if the weather is warm enough.

dungfungus said :

I heard there were a lot of Copperheads around Cooma.

You tend to get Copperheads in the colder areas, there’s quite a population of them in the Snowies. And most of the Tigers I’ve ever seen have been up on the main range.

ConanOfCooma said :

Blacks will make it their mission to get out of your way, they are very timid and shy. I’ve never seen one angry, even with kids and dogs giving them a hard time – That said, I’m sure they’re more than capable of striking in anger. Like school teachers!

The general rule we go by down here is any snake in the wild is to be left alone, and the only snakes we kill on our property are Kings and Easterns, but only if they are near the house.

I heard there were a lot of Copperheads around Cooma.

watto23 said :

I live on the murrumbidgee corridor with a fire trail out back and in 10 years I’ve never seen a snake. They’d definately live in the grasslands though. I like all animals and wish i saw more snakes to photograph! Photographing roos, galahs and cockatoos is getting boring lol!

Head north a bit!. I’ve come across 3 browns in the past 12 months along the bicentennial trail running behind Macgregor and Dunlop.

breda said :

No-one ever got bitten – they do seem to be at the low end of the aggression scale. Brown snakes are another matter entirely, IMO.

Yep. Those of us who experience snakes on a very regular basis lift a tired eyebrow at the people who are quite sure that all snakes will just scuttle away. Blacks seem to be quite sluggish, so you’ll often surprise them, but so far I’ve not had any come at me.

Browns seem to be supremely un-interested in leaving, and if you don’t notice them, things can get pretty nasty. I haven’t encountered any tigers in recent years but I’ve heard they are similarly pugnacious.

Dragon-type lizards are the same, they’ll stand and try to fight you. I almost tripped over a large bearded dragon the other day who was taking exception to my being there. He wasn’t going *anywhere*. As far as he was concerned, I was to leave, full stop.

Typsy McStaggers10:40 am 22 Dec 11

Brianna said :

fabforty said :

I saw a very long snake making its way across the Barton Highway a few weeks ago – a large Brown, I thought. Was pleased to see the cars actually stopped to let it cross instead of just mowing it down.

That’s good to hear. I love snakes and I’m tired of the attitude towards them. Sharks come into this category as well.

Can’t say I’ve ever had to stop the car for a shark πŸ˜‰ I do understand your point

Gorgeous photo, thanks.

A group of friends for many years spent our summer holidays in a part of the Royal National Park (south of Sydney) which had a large population of these. We often saw them around, but made a point of (a) looking where we were walking and (b) making plenty of noise/vibration when moving around in the bush. Many a time you’d see the tail of one retreating in front of you off the path.

No-one ever got bitten – they do seem to be at the low end of the aggression scale. Brown snakes are another matter entirely, IMO.

Because they have magical snake sensing abilities?

johnboy said :

old wives the cast majority of snakes out there have gotten out of your way without you ever knowing they were there.

The rare times you see a snake falls into exceptional circumstances and for whatever reason the snake has decided to stand its ground.

With all due respect John, I have to disagree. Have a chat to anyone who has grown up on a farm and listen to their point of view on this.

steveu said :

Thank you for this reminder, some very good points – particularly about small children and pets.

My personal view is to treat every snake with a GREAT deal of respect, do not assume they are not interested in you and do not think they will ‘get out of the way before you get anywehre near them’ – old wives tale.

Extreme caution and respect people.

In fairness to the old wives the cast majority of snakes out there have gotten out of your way without you ever knowing they were there.

The rare times you see a snake falls into exceptional circumstances and for whatever reason the snake has decided to stand its ground.

Thank you for this reminder, some very good points – particularly about small children and pets.

My personal view is to treat every snake with a GREAT deal of respect, do not assume they are not interested in you and do not think they will ‘get out of the way before you get anywehre near them’ – old wives tale.

Extreme caution and respect people.

fabforty said :

I saw a very long snake making its way across the Barton Highway a few weeks ago – a large Brown, I thought. Was pleased to see the cars actually stopped to let it cross instead of just mowing it down.

That’s good to hear. I love snakes and I’m tired of the attitude towards them. Sharks come into this category as well.

πŸ™‚ Gorgeous photo!

I saw a very long snake making its way across the Barton Highway a few weeks ago – a large Brown, I thought. Was pleased to see the cars actually stopped to let it cross instead of just mowing it down.

10 out of 10 for this photo. They appear to both have their eye on you, watching, waiting, ready to strike. I wouldn’t be able to drop eye contact with them even for a second to glance at the camera LCD.

I’ve found blacks to be more prone to leaving than browns, which will stand their ground and watch you. That said, I’ve almost tripped over blacks on several occasions. I’ve never had a black come at me, unlike browns which have. All that stuff about snakes being more scared of you are rubbish.

Saw quite a few browns broken and squashed on the road during the spring warm-up but none lately.

The only use I have for blacks is that they eat browns. And they’re easier to see.

grunge_hippy5:01 pm 21 Dec 11

nice photo, but they still make my skin crawl….

saw a dead one in suburban monash today. Don’t know what kind, but in my books, a dead snake is a good snake. Don’t like them one bit.

Athryn said :

Just remember everyone one, the red bellies will chase you if you agrivate them so be careful πŸ™‚

And they can go faster uphill then down, but only when they form a hoop and roll along. What you really have to lookout for though, is when they work in tandem with a drop bear.

Gorgeous photo, I accidentally killed one last week along the cotter road it just came out onto the road from no where I felt awful.

Athryn said :

Just remember everyone one, the red bellies will chase you if you agrivate them so be careful πŸ™‚

Yes, we were driving on a bush track and one of these was sunning itself. There was no way to go around it. We tried to move it by such brilliant urban solutions as tooting the horn. One of us got out and used a stick to get it moving (very gently). It slithered incredibly fast at the idiot (me) who’d unnecessarily climbed out of the car to watch. I didn’t know snakes could move like that. It then hid under the car, but must have found that too cold, and left pretty quickly.

Their bite, I read later, is nasty but generally not fatal to adults.

A beautiful photo, thanks.

Just remember everyone one, the red bellies will chase you if you agrivate them so be careful πŸ™‚

ConanOfCooma said :

Blacks will make it their mission to get out of your way, they are very timid and shy. I’ve never seen one angry, even with kids and dogs giving them a hard time.

At a property in the highlands, I was wandering through the paddock about 50m away from the house. Heard a bit of a rustle by the grass near my feet and thought it a skink and continued walking. I stopped after a couple of metres and turned around, and out slithered a red-belly. I started walking backwards to give it some space.

Well I’ll be buggered if the thing didn’t start following me. I must have walked a 10 metre arc around it to get back towards the house and the thing circled and kept following me. Near the house I bolted into a run to get the shotgun. When I came back out the snake had the smarts to go down a wombat hole.

So they won’t go out of your way in all cases.

amarooresident32:37 pm 21 Dec 11

I love this photo. Where are their little deck chairs and fruit cocktail drinks?

I live on the murrumbidgee corridor with a fire trail out back and in 10 years I’ve never seen a snake. They’d definately live in the grasslands though. I like all animals and wish i saw more snakes to photograph! Photographing roos, galahs and cockatoos is getting boring lol!

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images11:39 am 21 Dec 11

Thanks πŸ™‚

DUB said :

The one on the right looks like has meal inside its belly.Beautiful shot!

… or several … certainly appears quite content.

ConanOfCooma said :

The general rule we go by down here is any snake in the wild is to be left alone, and the only snakes we kill on our property are Kings and Easterns, but only if they are near the house.

+1

GardeningGirl11:39 am 21 Dec 11

Great photo!

ConanOfCooma said :

Blacks will make it their mission to get out of your way, they are very timid and shy.

Mr Gardening was taking my photo at Tidbinbilla once… “go back a bit, step back, yeah, that’s good, NO, COME FORWARD RIGHT NOW!” Snake calmly slithered away to look for somewhere more peaceful than the side of the path.

qbninthecity11:30 am 21 Dec 11

great pic Geoff. they are quite the beautiful pair πŸ™‚

The one on the right looks like has meal inside its belly.Beautiful shot!

ConanOfCooma11:22 am 21 Dec 11

Blacks will make it their mission to get out of your way, they are very timid and shy. I’ve never seen one angry, even with kids and dogs giving them a hard time – That said, I’m sure they’re more than capable of striking in anger. Like school teachers!

The general rule we go by down here is any snake in the wild is to be left alone, and the only snakes we kill on our property are Kings and Easterns, but only if they are near the house.

That is an excellent photo!

I love snakes, but nothing scares me more then seeing one just as you are about to put my foot on it… I’ve never actually trod on one but I have come pretty close a couple of times.

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images11:09 am 21 Dec 11

forgoodnessake said :

very nice photo Geoff. Snakes are gorgeous creatures.

Thanks πŸ™‚

It’s mating season … delayed because of the cooler, damper weather. I think they must’ve very recently shed as their skins were in beautiful condition and their colouration vivid. I agree, they’re gorgeous creatures. I don’t think I’d have gotten quite so close if they were browns or tigers though πŸ˜‰

forgoodnessake10:54 am 21 Dec 11

very nice photo Geoff. Snakes are gorgeous creatures.

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