When we first inspected 'Near River', our property here in the Hastings Valley, the owner and agent were sure to advise us of the local carpet snake that resided in the chook house. At the time we had far more important matters to consider rather than wayward wildlife that was choosing to reside in one of the outhouses.
When we finally did move in, there was minimal disappointment when we discovered that the Diamond Python had moved on. Given that the previous owners (and their chooks) moved out some six weeks prior to us settling, we guessed the snake went elsewhere for a feed.
Since then, we've had quite a few small furry 'visitors' to parts of the property that we'd rather they not be at. The recent purchase of a Sonic Pest Free 2 device has rid the house and immediate area of the mice, but a few rats have made their presence felt down in the old dairy and around the worm farm that contains our vegetable scraps in the former stables.
So it was with some delight that we noticed the return of our 'Diamond Dave', hanging about in the rafters of the stables, causing mayhem with the local 'furry mammals'!
A distinctive large, black snake with cream to yellow markings, Diamond Pythons (Morelia spilota spilota ) often go undetected because of their nocturnal, slow-moving habits. Our 'Diamond Dave' spends his day up under the heat of the tin roof, hardly moving at all. Like all pythons, the Diamond Python kills its prey by wrapping itself around its victim (in this case, small mammals and lizards) and suffocating them. Although they are non-venomous, they can inflict a painful bite.
The other snakes that we need to be aware of are:
Red Bellied Black Snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus) which are as its common name suggests, black on top with a red or crimson belly. They are found in a wide variety of habitats but tend to be seen in moister areas, particularly near water as frogs form a large part of their diet. Whilst Red Bellied Blacks are venomous, bites are rare as this is a placid and usually docile species.
However, on the other hand, Eastern Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) are one of Australia's most dangerous reptiles. They can be fast-moving and aggressive, and their venom is quite toxic. Thankfully, like most snakes, they are most likely to retreat. The colouring of Eastern Browns are variable and range from tan through dark brown, russet-orange to almost black, with a cream or white belly, while juveniles have black bands.
Well, who else do you know who 'dresses' flamboyantly, cruises through the day and does his best work at night? 'Diamond' David Lee Roth, the original front man for 80's rockers Van Halen!
I wonder where he hangs out now?