Mon 16 Apr 2007
I took that photo.
That is a friggin’ PYTHON.
I SAW THAT THING IN THE WILD.
This country really is insane. Now, some Australians will roll their eyes at getting so damn excited about seeing a Diamond Python (subspecies of the Carpet Python) in the wild, but coming from Vancouver where snakes like this DO NOT EXIST, I was SO stoked.
This past week my dad, stepmom, Amanda, and I spent time in the Hunter Valley. One day we thought we’d drive up to Barrington Tops National Park and maybe do a little bushwalk (the park’s website reads, “All of the park’s snakes should be avoided. Most of them are potentially dangerous”). So after a while in the car marveling at the green, rolling hills we arrived at our destination. We got out of the car, realized we were in the wrong spot, but thought we’d go have a quick look around anyway. Not one minute later did Amanda and I spot this thing off the side of the road.
Amanda FREAKED. She turned around and walked very VERY fast far FAR away. I was totally bewildered. Was I really seeing a large snake (probably about 5 feet long) just sitting there? I called to my dad and stepmom, got Amanda’s lense onto the digital camera, and got closer. My dad and I quickly deduced it was some sort of python and, therefore, probably not poisonous. And we could also see it was digesting a meal (that’s the discoloured stretched bit in the photo) so the snake wasn’t moving at all…so we got pretty close.
I think I was laughing in disbelief the whole time. And then laughed again when my Dad, who was raised in Panama, said something along the lines of “It’s too bad there weren’t any forked sticks around, I would have picked it up and shown those kids.” My Dad, Captain Panama. HE WANTED TO PUT ON A WILDLIFE SHOW FOR THE KIDS. On our way back to the car we also spotted a squished Red-bellied black snake on the road. Luckily for us it was squished as they are poisonous and we were all wearing sandals. We Canadians plan for bushwalks so well. I’ve put some more photos (full-size!) of both snakes up here if you want to look.
Anyway, when we got back to civilization on Friday the first thing I did was look online to identify the species…and we were right, Diamond Pythons are not poisonous…so we weren’t in any real danger. Later on that day though real danger hit….all four of us were struck down with food poisoning or something. I blame the KFC in East Maitland. Needless to say, Friday night was the worst night EVER. We’re doing better now though…although I have missed a trip up to Noosa unless I can bring myself to get on a plane at 8:30 tomorrow morning.