Carpet Snakes are Pythons and are non-venomous gentle creatures. They rely on squeezing their prey and swallow them whole. It’s not to say they don’t bite as they do. I have been bitten as I dragged a Carpet Snake backwards from my chook pen away from the baby chickens. It was a bit miffed I guess about missing out on dinner. I was probably too complacent but juggling a three meter snake and a torch with squawking chooks I took my eye off the snake and he whipped around at lightning speed and bit my hand. Just a bit of blood as they have backwards facing fangs. A short walk back into the bush well away from the chooks and I deposited him to slither away and find another place to eat.
These images are from my besties. Carpet Snakes make great biological pest controllers.
I begin this short story which began early in July. I had been away from home for a while. When I came home I went for the customary walk about my place to see that all was well. As I headed down the paddock to the bush where the fires in December raged through, I saw a white stripe on a tree. I was hoping to see more of my place regenerating, trees recovering, plants emerging and a general rejuvenation of the land.
Instead this is what I found. Can you see that line of white?
What on earth was that white thing running from the top of the tree to the ground? Once I got closer I realised what it was. A roll of plumbing tape. But how did it get there. I do remember using the tape and putting it on a table on the verandah sometime in late June. And then the reason why echoed through the bush nearby.
Someone who has a penchant for item with a blue hue. Someone who enjoys decorating their space in the hope of attracting a female. Yes this culprit was undoubtedly a Satin Bowerbird.
As you may recall, on the weekend we had a picnic by the Clarence River. While relaxing in the shade on a rather warm March day, dragonflies seemed to be flitting about everywhere, whether near the water or right beside us on the grass.
Ready for a bit of Dragonfly action?
So many of the blue coloured dragonflies
Red dragonflies are easy to spot
First time I have seen a black dragonfly with a blue tail
This yellow dragonfly landed and did a series of poses and flitted off
A ring-in. I found this wonderful dragonfly at Rocky Creek Dam
Another ring in from Rocky Creek Dam, a blue Damselfly
This was in October 2018 in the middle of this three year drought. This was the lowest water level I had ever seen.
Then in November there was rain on one day which put water into the waterhole
In August 2019 the water level plunged even further leaving a small puddle.
November 2019 another day of rain put a small amount water back into the waterhole
I guess you want to know why this is a special spot?
When the water level is full, which used to be most of the time, life abounds from the moss and vines on the trees
to the birds who rely on the water hole like the White-throated Honeyeaters
Red-browed Firetail Finches
They come in large numbers and enjoy the water hole together, Fuscous and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters
A Scarlet Honeyeater Keeps an eye on me
I haven’t been down there when any animals have come to drink. My clomping through the bush or the sound of Old Smokey the farm ute alerts them and off they go. I have found fish in the water and there has been signs of Crayfish. The water usually has a variety of insects.
Always a Dragonfly or two flitting about
Water Striders make interesting shadows
Hope you liked a view of the Special Spot on my place
on this land
on this land
In August 2018 (the Grass Tree on the left – you can just see the spear rising to the sky
A few days ago
In 2014 The Spotted Gum tree trunk is the same as the one in the previous photo
Xanthorrhoea or Grass Trees
They are ancient hardy plants that survive poor soils and respond to bushfires by flowering!!
Grass Trees are slow growing. They increase in height around 25mm or one inch and in some cases, in better soils, can grow 80mm or around three inches a year!! The Grass Tree in the foreground of the burnt ones is over 2 meters or about eight feet tall.
They survive fire as the growing point is under the ground. They have a root system, where microbes called mycorrhiza surround the roots in a symbiotic relationship bring nutrients to support growth.
The trunk is a mixture of the old leaves and a resin that they exude. The length of the skirt can indicate the last time a fire went through this gully. Compare the top and bottom photos.