Brisbane Floods 2011- Wildlife - Taken By Surprise by Neil Ross

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Brisbane Floods 2011- Wildlife - Taken By Surprise by 

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These photos have not been posted for their artistic merit; far from it. They are simply my personal account of the Brisbane Floods 2011 and how it has impacted my life. All photos have been taken in my local neighbourhood, no more than 500 metres from my home. I hope they are of interest to you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011.

There are plenty of snakes in Brisbane and I’ve seen many different species, however this is the first CARPET PYTHON I’ve come across. After the flood many animals were displaced and this beauty found her way into my neighbour’s backyard. In urban areas they may be found draped across the boughs of trees or coiled quietly in the undergrowth, or even in the rooves of houses. This one was caught out in the open along the garden path. We met very late one evening and if not for the external house lights, I would have missed her or worse, had a ‘too close’ encounter. She didn’t flinch but I launched like a missile. I estimate her length to be between 8 and 9 feet, and that’s a big snake by any standard.

Pythons prefer warm-blooded prey. They kill by constriction and have heat-sensory pits along their lower jaw. These pits can detect temperature changes of less than one-thirtieth of one degree. When I saw this pose I thought she was ready to strike, but unbeknown to me my two cats were underneath the house on the other side of the path, not more than 5 feet away. I didn’t see them at first but that explains the snake’s posture; she could sense their body heat. They all sat quietly just looking at each other and no one was game to move an inch. It was a standoff!

After a few phone calls I managed to track down the local snake catcher and he recommended we just leave her be; she’d find a nice cozy spot somewhere and stay out of the way. They are good for keeping vermin at bay and also deter other snakes like eastern browns or red belly black snakes from entering the area. That’s fine by me but the cats seem none too pleased. They’d been behaving very oddly for a couple of weeks prior and seemed very cautious… and nervous. Obviously they were aware of the python’s presence long before I was.

You’ll notice she’s got a pretty full stomach. Unable to eat a cat, she could certainly kill one so my cats’ nervousness was well justified. I can only assume in this case that some poor possum or flying fox had met an untimely end. Rats, birds and other small animals are much easier prey to digest.

Photos taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!

After much ado it was time for a quick getaway up the nearest tree. We had no intention of stopping her.

I love anything that is unusual, unique, or just plain odd, and that’s the sort of image I try to capture. I’m so far from being the world’s best photographer it’s not funny, but I do have the photographer’s ‘eye’ and am more than proficient at capturing the images I see in my world. Thanks for taking the time to view my portfolio. Feel free to leave a message and say G’day.

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  • Shulie1
    Shulie1almost 4 years ago

    Great shot – I wouldn’t want to meet up with her either

  • It’s a pity we met late at night. I’d much rather natural light than a flash but at least I got to take a few pics. I feel very priveledged to have seen her. Such a beautiful creature. My cats were very spooked and were just on the other side of the path under the house. That’s why the snakes head is raised… sensing the heat. It had nothing to do with me and it’s not a strike pose although she would have bitten because I almost trod on her.

    – Neil Ross

  • Ryan Davison Crisp
    Ryan Davison C...almost 4 years ago

    great capture mate

  • Cheers mate. The right place at the right time :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Ryan Davison Crisp
    Ryan Davison C...almost 4 years ago

    the right time? bit subjective mate lol

  • Well, it could have been an eastern brown snake. They’re savage bastards. A mate was chased over 50 metres and this thing wouldn’t let up. Pythons are very docile by comparison. Look but don’t touch is the safest option. this one wasn’t aggressive and even when she was captured she was more intent on escaping. At no stage was there any sign of aggression.

    – Neil Ross

  • vigor
    vigoralmost 4 years ago

    Oh, no thanks. Is this what the floods brought in?

  • Yeah It did but not until a few weeks later. Their usual hangouts are disturbed, I’d say in this case by rebuilding. They’re shy and retiring creatures so they just move to quieter areas. The houses in my area haven’t started rebuilding yet so she popped in for a visit. How cool is that :D

    – Neil Ross

  • vigor
    vigoralmost 4 years ago

    Uh, looks like she just ate something rather big! Don’t think I’d be real happy to see one of these around my house! What happened to her? She’s a beauty.

  • She’s had a good feed on something. My neighbour found her a few days later up in a tree near her front door. We had her (the snake) relocated. Probably the best thing for all concerned but I did feel just a bit sad. She is such a beautiful animal.

    – Neil Ross

  • HelenLewis
    HelenLewisalmost 4 years ago

    Very interesting Neil – and you went through the trauma of the floods – such devastation for so many! Back to your snake – I saw a carpet python similar to this, when up in Qld (although not nearly as big as this one!), and i was struck by how beautiful it was – I was most surprised!

  • We all survived the floods and are just getting on with it. The snake was a wonderful surprise. I felt very sad when she was located, and if not for the kids and cats she would have been more than welcomed to stay. Pythons are the most beautiful creatures.

    – Neil Ross

  • Louise Linossi Telfer
    Louise Linossi...almost 4 years ago

    these snakes are def. my fav. besides the green snake ….. did you see the photo on the net of a frog sitting on the back of a snake that was swimming down the river in the flood ????

  • I didn’t watch TV for about a month after the flood itself. I missed so much but had plenty of other stuff to keep me busy. The snake and the frog must have looked so cool. I guess predators and prey know the difference between the instinct to eat and survival. Thanks for your comment :D

    – Neil Ross

  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkover 3 years ago

    OMG Neil…I would not be too happy that they didn’t come and take this guy away. I shutter to think that it could be up in a tree nearby and drop on someone or something. Yikes! Great capture of it Neil! Be careful!!

  • I was kind of sad when she left but also breathed a sigh of relief. It was an awesome experience though.

    – Neil Ross

  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkover 3 years ago

    I just read where the snake was relocated! Whew. I feel better now. lol I know you and your cats do too. :))

  • She was relocated down at the cemetery not too far from here. Lots of trees and hiding places so a really good home where she won’t come to any harm. Snakes are protected in this country but that doesn’t mean people won’t kill them. I think we did the right time for everyone’s sake, including the snake.

    – Neil Ross

  • Angie66
    Angie66over 3 years ago

    Incredible shot

  • I shudder to think what would have happened had the lights not been on. I’m the one who was taken by surprise. She was so beautiful and I felt sad when she was relocated. Best for all concerned I guess.

    – Neil Ross

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