Our Australian Adventures Dealing with Snakes

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Feature Image: Black, Red-Belly Snake in Queensland caught by Snake Handler 2022

Red bellied black snake recovered at Maleny by sunshine coast snake catchers 24/7 in September 2022. (Supplied: Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7) Source ABC News.

“Australia has a large range of snake species, being the most dangerous in the world. I [Allan Ivarsson] have had to deal several times over the years with snakes on our verandah, including the poisonous Black Snakes, both yellow-belly & red-belly, as well as the green non-poisonous tree snake. The latter, proved to be more frightened of me, than I of it, when I stepped outside our back door, earlier this year, 2017 and faced one six feet away. The startled tree snake quickly left the verandah sliding away into my garden for protection, and then later left the area. I doubt I will see it again until next summer, if ever, it has only been on our verandah twice this year, it is over twenty years since I saw one previously in our old shed. More black snakes have visited our verandah than greens.” (i)

“The poisonous red-belly snake, shy in nature, but still dangerous, is welcomed on our 12-acre Wild-Life Bird & Reptile Sanctuary, Native Gardens property, we treat them cautiously with respect. Why? Because this snake is enemy of the far faster moving more dangerous brown snakes that we do not want on our land. The black red-belly snake kills ‘browns’ and I have seen them on video, swallowing a brown completely.” (i)


Our Australian Adventures Dealing with Snakes

Allan Ivarsson comments… I am sharing the below ABC News story for history of incidents and attitudes concerning common-sense survival to avoid being bitten by these venomous, black, red-bellied snakes. These snakes are shy and not dangerous if you do not tread on them or threaten them. Naturally, if physically injured or threatened, they will defend themselves by attacking the foolish person who deliberately or carelessly threatens one.

I enclose below a video of an incident on my verandah on the 29th of September 2020. We live on a 12 acre rural bush property in Northern NSW Australia. At 11 am in the morning, I was about to open the back sliding door when I saw ‘Butch’ on the verandah, our ‘Butcher Bird’ who was adopted by my son Daniel as a young bird in the bush, 300 metres away from our house. He visits us regularly now, as do the Magpies since 2003, when I trained them, three generations as friends. You can see videos of ‘Butch’ on the link below.

Anyway back to the story, ‘Butch’ was carefully watching something, which I could not see, until it came into my view. It was a black, red-bellied snake, an infant compared to the size when they are fully grown in the below Queensland story. The snake moved towards our closed screen door, and ‘Butch’ moved cautiously towards it, and the snake, cautiously quickly hid behind our peace plant pot. I could not open the door lest the snake darted quickly into the house. My wife rang our son next door, who came out to inspect the snake, and cautiously encouraged the snake to leave the pot and head along the verandah, my son cautiously caught the snake in a bucket and walked it down to our bushland and released it. He took the video of his release of the black, red-bellied snake, which I identified in size was only 800 millimetres in length, i.e., 2.6 feet. It was young. I have seen babies as small as six inches a decade ago amongst leaf dry-matter content (LDMC) in the bush. And they are even when young, venomous. And once 15 years ago I saw a black, red-bellied snake about two metres long on our verandah. It left the next morning.

The only time I ever killed a snake was a black, yellow-belly snake in 1993 on our front verandah. I chopped off its head with a hoe. I was a city boy from Sydney, at that point of time, I feared snakes at that time and knew nothing about them. I am self-taught and began my adventure of learning about Australian tough bush life and wildlife from 1993 [44 years to my old age of 73 years plus] in 2022. With education, I never killed a snake again. I love the Australian bush. It is hard but fair when respected.

Our 12-acre ‘Wild-Life Bird & Reptile Sanctuary’, Native Gardens property has been designed by me to become a ‘Wildlife Corridor’ for Wallabies, Possums, Kookaburras, Magpies, Butcher Birds, Honey Eaters, Willy Wagtails, Blue Wrens, Finches, Parrots and more species. Cats and Pigs are banned. The latter destroy the land. The former kill birds. Goats, Cattle and Sheep are also banned. My wife and I and our Son Daniel who loves the land and wildlife taught ourselves how to be self-sufficient growing vegetable and fruits we want. Our other children are city dwellers and are not motivated to learn rural life.

I would like to create a ‘Koala Habit’ but due to my age now crippled using a walker, I need help to create this dream. Daniel is still young and must work in rural jobs for a living. And now because I am crippled, I cannot walk through the bush land sections anymore. My 1975 Sydney City Accident when I was 26 years old, from a two-storey fall, in which I was given three hours to live by doctors, which I defeated by using PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) caught up with me at the age of 72 years. And thus, I became prematurely crippled. Now I write as a Mentor for the young. Giving knowledge and wisdom as Social Capital for free to help others.

Black, red-belly snake on our verandah on 29th September 2022

‘Butch’ the ‘Butcher Bird’ watching the snake and my son Daniel.

The Snake being released into the bush by my son Daniel Houston.

Even though these snakes are dangerous being venomous, we encourage them to live on our land because they keep the more dangerous faster moving browns off our property. I have seen a video of a black, red-bellied snake, swallowing a brown it captured. Three cheers for the black, red-bellied snakes.

For those who know imperial measurement or metric here is the conversion logistics of the size I saw in the above story… 800 millimetres = 80 centimetres = 0.8 metre = 31.4 inches = 2.6 feet.

I have had to deal with large ‘Green Snakes’ outside our door on the verandah but they were more frightened of me, than I was of them, and they fled the area very fast.

The next day, our son Daniel was driving along our country road when 200 metres away from our property he saw a very large black, red-bellied snake, basking on the road. It quickly left the road into the bush when he saw my son’s Kombi approaching.

Black, red-bellied snake.

Allan Ivarsson PhD P.I. 2022 (now 73 years of age.)

Founder, director, chairman of ‘things to come’ called ‘Cosmicism’. The way of ‘Blue Light Cosmic Philosophy’, the way of ‘Cosmic Libertarianism’ which uses the most advanced intelligence in the Universe called ‘Philosophical Intelligence’.

(ii) https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/sunshine-coast-snake-catchers-recover-one-of-the-thickest-red-bellied-black-snakes-they-ve-ever-seen/ar-AA124jiv?

ABC News Story passed forward by me so that history has something to remember, hopefully these stories will not be archived and forgotten.

Dated 21st September 2022 published by ABC News Story, titled, ‘Sunshine Coast snake catchers recover ‘one of the thickest ‘Red-Bellied Black snakes they’ve ever seen.’ (ii)

Snake season is officially underway in Queensland and they’re back — in a big way.

Snake catchers on the Sunshine Coast have this week recovered two huge specimens, including “one of the thickest red-bellied black snakes” they have ever seen.

Stuart McKenzie turned up to a Maleny home on Tuesday to find the big-bellied red belly tucked into the corner of the lounge room.

The female resident had nearly stepped on the 1.2 metre long reptile, which was so thick it barely fitted on the catcher’s hook.

“It was a bit of a shock to be honest … people say they’re big but you can usually halve that because people overestimate or over exaggerate,” Mr McKenzie said.

“We actually joked it was probably the only time a snake might even have fat rolls … it was huge.”

Despite being venomous, red-bellied black snakes are rarely aggressive.

But Mr. McKenzie said they would defend themselves, and it was lucky the Maleny woman did not stand on it.

“The snake’s not going to go out of its way to try and hurt her or bite her, but if she had put her foot on it, then that could have been a different story,” the snake catcher said.

‘So many snakes’

Mr McKenzie also was called to a Buderim home this morning where he retrieved a 2.8 metre carpet python, which tipped the scales at 9 kilograms.

“It was a whooping big snake … Buderim is probably the home for the carpet pythons on the Sunny Coast, it’s one of our busiest suburbs,” Mr McKenzie said.

News of the snake catcher’s finds on social media has led to a flurry of residents sharing their latest snake sightings.

Kristen Grey is scared of snakes yet appreciates their role in the ecosystem.

That was little comfort when she came eye to eye with her first wild reptile.

“When I saw the green tree snake I was on my pony and it popped out, head up, mouth open — scared the living daylights out of me,” she said.

Ms. Grey noticed the reptiles have been more active around Palmwoods, Chevallum and Eudlo recently.

“There are so many snakes out right now, I’ve seen three in the past week — two carpet pythons and one young green tree snake.”

At Federal, near Gympie Summa Court said snakes were “definitely on the move”. “I’ve seen seven snakes in the past two weeks,” she said.

“This little night tiger was trying to find a way into my house last night after its day-time sleep.”

Closer to the coast at Mount Coolum, Claire Hards spotted “the biggest one I’ve ever seen” while walking from the beach last week.

“At first I didn’t even see the snake because of its beautiful camouflage patterns and my dog went to jump out at something and I pulled her back and looked down and then realised what it was.

“It was amazing when it moved, the darker scales reflected this beautiful iridescent blue in the sun.”

She estimated the snake to be about three metres long.

“I’ve come across brown snakes out in the wild before and they rear right up and … they’re quite scary but this snake seemed very calm and just wanted to go on its way.”

Breeding and biting season

The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) said since September last year there have been 856 snake bite incidents across the state, including 97 on the Sunshine Coast.

The most recent was at Flaxton in the Sunshine Coast hinterland overnight when a woman in her 30s was taken to hospital after being bitten on her ankle.

Dianne Rigby, a senior operations supervisor with QAS, said the type of snake had not been identified.

With Queensland home to some of the deadliest species in the world, she said people need to be on the lookout coming into warmer weather when more snake bites occur.

“I’ve heard of them coming from trees, being in boxes when people are moving boxes around, any area of clutter … often, we get them from residential places rather than from bush areas.

“Keep your properties clean and the grass short and if you are walking in snake-type areas, so long grass or anywhere where a snake might normally tend to reside.

“Then we recommend people should be wearing appropriate sturdy clothes and shoes … have a first-aid kit and have a compression bandage available.”

What to do if bitten by a snake?

Ms Rigby said if bitten, it was not necessary to catch the snake for identification purposes.

“We ask people not to wash where the snake has bitten and the hospital will do a snake venom detection kit and that will normally assist in determining what sort of snake it is,” Ms Rigby said.

She said the best course of action is to phone Triple-0, apply a compression bandage, keep the person calm and observe symptoms.

The End of the ABC News Story.

Our son Daniel Houston at Pioneer Bridges Camping Reserve Victoria April 2021

He loves Nature and Australian Territory.

This tree is over forty years old located on the side of our road, half a kilometre past our driveway. Photograph taken on the 28th September, 2016 by our son Daniel Houston.

Daniel’s Kombi watching the road, whilst Daniel Hugs the tree on the 28th September, 2016.

9th July 2021 Jan & Allan Ivarsson

The snake 14 months later came up to right hand corner of the back door behind us.

This Music has a lot of photographs of the City of Sydney where I worked and explored from teenage years in the early 1960’s until we moved 700 KS north to NSW Rural Territory in 2003.

Enjoy the music, I recommend the City of Sydney for tourists.

Allan Ivarsson 2022

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