Today was very hot again.
John had been out to get something from the shop and when he arrived home, he frightened a brown snake in the very outside part of the house. It slithered into the back verandah (where the fridge and the outside stove are) and under the box that holds the dog food... right beside the fridge. I'm sure that it was looking for somewhere cooler than the back yard... I've seen one out there some time ago... but when they come inside and get lost, it isn't the best. This happened once when I was a teenager... we lost a snake in my brother's bedroom, but we didn't see it again, so I suppose it found its way out.
Having two dogs in the house, I was a bit worried about them finding it and "having a go" at it.
I phoned the council animal control person as I thought he might have a phone number for a snake catcher. Yes, he did, and so I phoned the mobile number that I was given. This was the number of the local venom harvestor, but it turned out that he was many miles away, on holiday, though he had a mate who would probably come (from Truro) and catch the snake, though it would cost aminimum of $160 plus GST. Not to be deterred, I phoned a couple of likely lads around the town... one has an uncle who used to do these things, but he's not allowed to any more as he's been bitten too many times!... the other one is getting too old! Not promising...
Back to the drawing board, as they say... I put my Blundstones on and went with a torch to look under anything I could see to try to find the snake. I didn't see it. By this time... half an hour or more later, it may well have escaped through the way that it came in... I'm sure it didn't intend to end up inside at all.
The venom man asked me how big it was... about 4 or 5 feet long and one and a half inches in diameter, according to John. This means that it is probably about 10 or 15 years old and has been here as long as I have. It is probably the one that I saw in the back doorway a couple of years ago. Some hours later, and still no snake. The sun is down and it is the same temperature inside and out... about 35C.
Tonight the dogs will sleep inside rather than out in that verandah where they usually go, and hopefully when the air outside cools off, the snake might go off in search of mice.
This is not the only kind of snake that we've seen. We have seen a couple of red-bellied black snakes here as well. One was curled up on the front verandah when I opened the door one day; and John found a small one out in the yard, near the shed.
The thing is with snakes, that they are more afraid of you than you are of them. If you imagine them trying their best to get away, it's quite a different image.
As well as all of that, it has been even hotter today than the past few days. It was 44C in the shade out by the garden, and should drop near to 30 over night, though hot again tomorrow. There is a catastrophic fire warning for tomorrow and people who live out of town, and in fire prone areas are being advised to leave home tonight rather than waiting until tomorrow morning.
So far the vegetables that are covered with shade cloth are surviving though the lack of sunlight is a problem as well. There is some talk of rain by the end of the week, but I'll believe it when I see it. We haven't received the past few lots that have been "promised."
My drawing is done as the sun was setting... a peach, hanging on the tree... and low enough for Jess to streal it!