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.
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.