Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lisa’s guide to Dealing with Australian Wildlife Encounters

What is it? Something like 9/10 poisonous snakes live here? Killer spiders, evil ants, & sharks…My rules for Australian wildlife are simple; never touch any animal/insect I come into close proximity to, never walk barefoot in the grass, never be the first one down a pathway in the morning, and always pretend that shadow you saw in the water was just a friendly dolphin.

We named the giant spider that lives in the garden Charlie (see photo in last post). We thought this would make him seem less of a threat, more like a friend. My friend Charlie decided to try to trap me in his web the other morning…that’s what I get for being friendly I suppose. The wind and rain destroyed his normal garden entrapment during the night, so he decided to build a new one ACROSS the driveway and wait for me to walk into it in the morning! Luckily, my roommate, Birgit, was there to save me and took down the rest of the GIANT web with a stick! Thanks Charlie.

The next day, while running down the pathway deep in my own thoughts (well, more like in a world of pain since my legs were killing me that day!), I nearly stepped on a Brown snake…one of the most deadly snakes in all of Oz….I startled it and had trapped it between me and a steep sidewall…..
Here is a pop quiz. When you see a strange animal in Australia, likely poisonous or just wants to eat you, how do you react? You:

a) Freeze in your tracks, stay as motionless as you can…maybe it will think you are a tree and go away.
b) Stop, whip out the camera, get as close to it as you can for the money shot and post the pic on your blog. Poking it with a stick & aggravating it to get a better photo is ideal.
c) Jump up & down, wave your arms, show your teeth and charge the animal. Use the “I’m bigger & louder than you are” technique to try to scare it off. Doesn’t that work for a Grizzly??
d) Scream like a girl, shout profanities, and run off faster than you ever have, never looking back!

If your answer is d) that is exactly what I did when I saw the snake start to slither beside my foot! Her name is Maggi and she lives just off the pathway (I had to return the same route and was on high alert, but only found the entrance to her den). Hopefully Maggi and I never meet again.

Till my next wildlife encounter...


Anonymous said...

...Or you could just come back to Calgary, supposed to be +17C on Tuesday!

Brian Matthews said...

FYI - do not ever try option C with a grizzly. Only with a black bear, the grizz will think you are challenging his right to his territory and then he will kill you quick. You are a freakishly fast runner, but the grizz is even faster!

Abit surprised you didn't grab a stick and do the "Steve Irwin" thing... Anyway, I feel vindicated in my decision to NOT go to Oz when I was living in NZ. Too many ugly beasties that can kill you.

Julie said...

How about that crazy turkey that kept wandering back and forth across the path yesterday? Hahahahahahah!! Now THAT was some crazy ass wildlife!

Hee-hee!! I found your blog! :) :)