On Monday, December 31, 2012 10:17:20 AM UTC-5, songbird wrote:
Thanks songbird and back at you. I am anxious already. The greenhouse is still
producing tomatoes and I think that is what is keeping me going right into
spring. I also have the Aero gardens in the house full of Basil, parsley and
I am going to have some Rose garden issues this spring but I guess that should
go to regular gardening.
Looking forward to spring :)
Thanks for the kind thoughts but as for the 'nice' summer, I'm feeling a bit
tender at the moment because of a number of factors............
Each morning, I go out kitted out in gardening gear after a shower and come
in dripping at about noon and swearing to myself that I really won't shower
before gardening again but each day, I get into autopilot and head for the
shower first thing..... I really must buy a dependable brain.....
Then yesterday, at dusk, I grab the compost bucket and head out to my big
plastic compost drum and flip the lid back only to be confronted by a very
large Eastern Brown Snake in the bin. I scream and back off quickly after
throwing the compost bucket and contents skywards leaving an agitated snake
wriggling madly in the bin under a partially open lid. I head inside
feeling like at total wimp.
Eastern Brown snakes are an edgy, nervy snake and highly venomous.
According to my snake ID book they are 12 times more venomous than a cobra.
I'ts hte sort of anske that is OK behind glass in a zoo where it looks
singularly unimpressive but it's certainly not teh sort of snake one wants
to meet up close and personal.
During the day we'd been working in and around that compst bin as it sits
between 2 apple trees and we were putting nets over the fruit trees as the
cockatoos are starting to take fruit to get to the seeds. Himself had also
been on his hands and knees weeding under one of the apple trees so he was
also not happy when I told him about the snake because of 'what might have
Today I decided that I needed to face the fear so went back and had a look
in the bin. No snake thankfully. I decided that I'd use my compost screw
to aerate the bin and was prepared to drop all and run if I pulled up a
snake. All went well - just lots of wriggling red compost worms.
But otherwise, on the plus side in the garden, I finally have tomatoes just
about ripe, there are zucchini on the bushes and it looks like we might get
an excellent crop of apples and pears.
I just hope that is the last sodding snake I see for the season. Ever again
would be good, but that is way too much to hope for.
On Tuesday, January 1, 2013 12:40:08 PM UTC-5, Roy wrote:
Last summer a neighbors dog was bitten 2 different times by rattler snakes. One of the times the dag got in between the snake and the 6 year old twin girls playing outside. Dog was really sick but pulled through. There are various water snakes here as well, some poisionus some not. I am in eastern North Carolina
As Fran said the Eastern Brown is not a wimpy snake, they don't spend their
waking hours stalking humans but if surprised they stand their ground and
will attack if provoked, unlike many snakes that will get away as fast as
possible under almost all conditions. Nobody in their right mind will
provoke them but if you accidentally step on one or poke it with a hoe you
stand a chance of getting bitten if you don't retreat fast enough. If they
get you to a hospital that can give you antivenene in time you will survive
but I am told the experience is very unpleasant. If you don't get there in
time start repenting very systematically.
I am quite happy to leave snakes alone to do their thing in the environment
and the more rodents they eat the better. The problem is that human
activity is often attractive to them. For example if you have chooks you
have chook food. If you have chook food you have rodents. In the
Australian bush you are therefore likely to get snakes around the chook
house. I had a red-bellied black snake living under the ramp against the
house, this was a nice warm dry shelter for it. It didn't worry me most of
the time but when it scared the shit out of my guests who didn't have a clue
what to do, it had to go. People can't have a relaxing country rest if all
they can think about is the famous dangerous fauna (that will be sneaking
into their room at night to carry them off along with the spiders,
crocodiles and drop bears).
I've had at least 2 Tiger Snakes in my chook run. One I just let slide by
me as I froze. I had to kill teh other one because he was very snug under
the galvanised waterer and just looked at me when I lifted it up to swish
out the dirt that was in the trough.
He was in a nice air conditioned spot. I gave him 5 minutes to escape as I
dressed up in full snake killing mode. Silly sod was still there when I
went back so I ahd to deal with him. Of course Himself, my hero, was out at
the time wasnt' he?
I had a red-bellied black snake living under the ramp against the
LOL. Gotta worry about those darned drop bears! Shame about the Red
Bellied. I dont' mind them.
I try to do that, but it's very hard to do that when it's in a compost bin.
they won't stalk you are attack without
Eastern Brown are known for their edginess and especially if cornered as
applies when it is in the confines of a plastic compost bin. They aren't
happy bunny snakes.
We only have garter snakes here
The 2 varieties of snakes we have here are Eastern Brown snakes ( the
world's 2nd most venomous land snake according to how they measure lethal
dose) and Tiger snakes.
I don't know anyone who has had a load of Brown Snake venom from a bite but
I do know woman who had a scratch (not a puncture wound) from a Tiger snake
The Eastern Brown venom is 12 times more toxic thaan a Cobra whilst the
Tiger snake is supposedly only 4 times as toxic. I know just how sick the
woman was from the scratch and how she has had ongoing health problems since
she got the scratch. I can only imagine how appalling a full envenomated
bite from a Brown snake would be.
It'd be nice to live where there were no venomous snakes but I live in an
area where we have highly venomous elapids. That is just a fact of life.
Keep the eyes peeled and wear long pants and boots and that is about the
best I can do if I want to keep enjoying my surrounds.
I assume that by 'north or south' you mean on the snowy side of the snow
line in your hemisphere. This has a number of problems. The most obvious
is that the choice of what to grow is much reduced the colder your climate
is. This group is about edible gardening!
The particular problem in Fran's case is there is very little (soon to be
none) permanent snow in the Australian alps and very few people live there,
much of it is national park. Being a pasturalist in those conditions (as I
understand it she makes here living from cattle) is more difficult even if
there was land available due to the shorter growing season.
So this isn't a practical option.
The interesting thing about the profusion of dangerous snakes in Oz is that
there are so few fatalities, this is partly because most people who live in
rural areas know how to behave with snakes and also the availability of
treatment. A third reason is that despite this image of the suntanned race
of the vast outback Australians are a very urban group, very few actually
live where there are many snakes. Contrast this with Sri Lanka which is the
snakebite capital of the world. There they have a lot of people and a lot
of snakes and they live in each other's pockets.
As was pointed out this can be south of the snow line south of the
equator or above the snow line in mountainous areas.
That's the only exception I know of. Copperheads seem common near the
snow line but seem to die out in the winter any time they move into a
region where it snows. A few warm years and poisonous snakes can
migrate, then it snows and they are gone again. Except the Eastern
Not that I've heard but the other common snake we get here (tiger snake)
supposedly is. According to a herpitologist I spoke to when I had one of
those in my wood shed. they like to climb into bushes at about chest height
and arealso commonly about after dark. His advice was not to go wandering
about outsside at night.
No. These snakes are elapids and thus highly dangerous and best givne a
very wide berth. I think the only elapid the US has is the coral snake and
although I know the US does have rattler hunts, I don't think that coral
snake hunts are common :-)).
We've had a major strawberr glut. That was a delight but we're now waiting
or a second round to crop.
There really is no option aobut moving them along. They just live here and
that's that. the worst thing was having Jack Russells. They regulalry went
fo rthe snakes and ende dup costing us a fortuen in anti-venine. We lost an
ealry one we had but then the next two cost us a bomb. One was over $5K
alone - about $2K of that was snake bites. Add to that the organophosphate
poisoning the little sods got and it's clear how much we liked those little
brutes since we shelled out so much to keep them alive. Sadly we now just
have a Cavalier King Charles and he's dumb and boring, but stays away from
I can tell the new year has started: seed catalogues. I really don't
need any more seeds this year but I will probably find something else
that looks interesting. I could probably get through 10 years with
the seeds I have. Maybe not the varieties I would like but enough to
keep me busy.
Right now I am feeling pretty good and hope it lasts. But I shall not
over plant this season. (Sure)
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