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wildlife

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Just in case you thought I'd moved to paradise and lost myself up my own green righteousness, I'm here to tell you, there's a snake in the grass!

No not the grass behind the baby, you think I'd be focussing the camera? I really like that wee moppet.

But after seeing an enormous black snake right near the house, and casually learning from a neighbour that it lives in the next door dam, I don't leave her unsupervised on the grass. Not when it's steaming hot outside and the lawn needs a mow. 

And THE SPIDERS.

Oh, the spiders. 

So you know I'm not so great with arachnids. I've talked about it before, my big fat irrational spider-bait-ness

The first thing I found here were the Huntsmen, a large hairy legged spider that's not dangerous but is (for me) alarming to find hanging out in my kitchen. They make them big round here. And many. Crappers. I didn't bin the one I killed today. I hope the corpse serves as a warning to its friends. No mercy to hairy legged spiders in this house.  

I've also been noticing big spider holes in the yard. Lots of them. I called a family friend who is a retired chemist and spider expert to ascertain whether they were Funnel-web holes and was relieved he confirmed they are mere Trapdoors, still dangerous but a bite does not actually require anti-venom. Excellent. Dreadful but not fatal. Good to know. 

 

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So this is great for my resident entomologist.

I had a specific conversation with her about not messing around with spider holes and always (a) wearing shoes outside and (b) shaking them out before you put them on, only to hear her suggesting to a small visiting neighbour that they go look for spider holes. 

 

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I'm shaking out my boots. 

Hope your week is travelling well and spider-free. 

Thinking of our friends in North Queensland tonight and hoping everyone's battened down and holding on tight. 

xxx

8 Comments on “wildlife

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February 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Oh, I feel for you. I had a big brown snake slither past me when I was outside, standing near my front door, I was so terrified! Then it went two doors down to our neighbour’s place, bit their dog, the dog killed it, then died too:( I’m no good with snakes..

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innerpickle
February 3, 2011 at 7:13 am

Ah, browns. They’re more aggressive than a red-belly. I’m not actually that bothered by snakes, I don’t want one in my house, but I’m happy to deal with them and I’d kill one with a shovel if it was headed towards a child. Spiders on the other hand I’m stoopidly irrational about. Can’t even pick up a dead one. Turns out there was a funnel-web “highway” nearby to here – more sightings than anywhere else in NSW. Oh excellent. Sorry about your neighbour’s dog.

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tamsinmaple@hotmail.com
February 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

Can totally relate to your phobia about spiders too!! I think it comes back to visiting “the retired chemist” you speak of and going on a funnel web hunt near their house at the age of about 8! Then again I am not great with snakes either after having a red bellied black snake slither over my baby blanket at Wollombi. Terrifying! Hope you are settling in well otherwise x

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Linda Woodrow
February 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I like spiders! I love their webs, especially with dew on them. I love the work they do as predators. I had a giant huntsman (or huntswoman maybe?) who took up residence in my bedroom window a while ago, and just when I was determined to move her on, she laid a batch of eggs, and guarded them so maternally I didn’t have the heart to kick her out. One morning I woke up to literally hundreds of baby spiders scattering. I don’t even mind black snakes – they’re quite timid and avoid a confrontation. But I don’t like browns. They even look mean.

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JenK
February 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I think I stumbled onto you blog while looking for yoghurt recipes. I so enjoy reading it. The yoghurt maple balls were divine – just like you described them. I only made a half batch which was a good thing as no one else here likes yoghurt and I have no self control. Next time I will use better quality hazelnuts.

Glad the move is going well.

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innerpickle
February 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

I WISH I could be this accommodating. But the thought of a breeding huntswoman and multitudes of baby huntsmen is freaking me out. Kudos to you though, for your ecological inclusiveness.

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Jen Walpole
February 10, 2011 at 8:30 am

My husband started laughing when me and my Aussie friends were shaking our shoes for spiders, when we explained what we were doing he went and told everyone because it was so amusing that Aussies shake their boots for deadly spiders!

It’s quite funny what we Aussies think of as harmless and what is dangerous. When I was nannying the kid I looked after was going on holiday to Australia and scared about sharks. I told him not to worry, the worst thing that could happen was to get stung by a blue bottle, silly me, he was even more scared after that!

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Bubbles and Mud Puddles
February 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Living in Canada now… It is currently minus 20 degrees centigrade outside killing anything with more that 4 legs…. I think the reason i left Sidney, or at least the final straw was when some huntsman decided to lay her eggs in my kitchen…. I suddenly one morning had a whole lot of little baby huntsmans all over my kitchen ceiling….. I would have to turn the light on in one end of the kitchen a half hour before doing dishes so all the babies would congregate by the light so I could do dishes without worrying I had baby huntsmens lowering them selves into my hair…. Suddenly not minding the minus 20 so much!!!!

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