I saw one!Well, we’re back in Sydney. The fires are still burning but we’re safe and sound in Newtown (and more than a little happy to see we weren’t burgled or anything). We hauled a full car-load of stuff back with us, including all of Snookums’s old crockery and glasses and pans. We finally have more than two plates! It’s a nice feeling.

Ooh! I saw my first poisonous snake today! Midway through the drive back, we stopped off at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens for a spot of lunch in their café. Snookums, his mother, and I were all walking up the path towards the visitor center completely oblivious when we all three suddenly noticed a three-foot-long red-bellied black snake scurrying away from us. I started stammering, “Is that…? Is it…?” And Snookums confirmed, “Yeah, they’re poisonous, but shy.” Just then two old ladies came running out of the center with brooms, thinking they’d try to keep it from coming inside. Instead it ducked into a nearby flowerbed and slithered off. Everyone was relieved.

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  1. Spookily enough, as I type this that mad bastard Steve Irwin is on TV, holding a five-foot specimen of this particular species by the tail and dodging *25* separate attempts to bite him, all the while spouting about just how deadly the venom is.

    You know, this sort of thing makes me appreciate England all the more: we’re pretty short on venemous wildlife, and all the better for it IMHO.

  2. That’s definitely a point in England’s favor. It wasn’t until I came here that I started to appreciate how little there was where I grew up (Indiana, USA) that could possibly kill me. You might hit a deer with your car, and a tornado might flatten your house, but that’s about it. Here I’ve already had to dodge spiders, snakes, and jellyfish.

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