Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tiger Snake

Monday 15th March 2010

It was a warm day yesterday and after going to a couple of garage sales and the market in the morning, Carolyn and Kristian were not in the mood to do much so we went home.
Carolyn decided that she was going to relax by doing the ironing, Kristian decided he was going to do as little as possible and Ian decided that there was no way he was going to sit indoors on a nice sunny day, specially when he is desperate to do a bit of exercise in an effort to build up his knee again after ages of struggling to walk let alone exercise.
So Ian got his cycling gear together and decided that he was going to do a decent length ride, but without pushing himself too much.
Ian was having a really good ride early on, cycling down deserted country lanes with the sun on his back and a gentle breeze blowing, as opposed to the gale force winds he normally rides in.
All of a sudden he got the fright of his life, he had been looking at the surrounding countryside rather than looking where he was going and glanced down at the ground in front of his wheel just in time to see that he was about to run over a Tiger Snake, not a very wise thing to do apparently when you’re on a pushbike, as they can apparently move very quickly and think nothing of giving an aggressor a venomous bite, apparently they don’t take into account the fact that it might have been a perfectly innocent mistake.
The Tiger Snake is probably the most poisonous snake in this part of Australia, closely followed by the Dugite, which coincidently, Ian nearly ran over one on his bike a couple of months ago whilst cycling near Port Geographe, you would have thought that he would have learned to look at where he was going after that close encounter, but if you can’t look around while cycling, you might as well stay at home on a treadmill, it would just be a little bit less worrying if they got rid of the snakes and the spiders and the flies and mozzies.
Anyway, back to the Tiger Snake, Ian managed to steer clear of it, but only by about 6 inches (15cm), it’s amazing how fast the brain and body can move in life threatening situations like this, because not only did he manage to steer the bike round the snake, but at the same time he managed to lift his left leg (which is the injured one just in case you’re interested) so that the snake would have one thing less to attack if it was going to and surprised himself as to how high he could lift it, he almost had to lever it off his shoulder to put it back down again, so as you see men can multitask when they have too, they just choose not to most of the time.
The snake didn’t try to attack him in the end and Ian carried on his merry way, in truth the snake was probably laughing his socks off watching this nutter cycling along with one leg over his shoulder and a look of panic on his face.
Further along the ride Ian saw a truly wonderful sight, in a field standing on her own with her baby was a mummy cow and she was trying to manoeuvre herself and her calf into a position where the calf could feed. The thing that made this so special was the fact that the calf was still covered in all that slimy stuff that calves are covered in when they are born, so this calf was obviously not very old and was still a little bit unsteady on its feet, Ian stopped for five minutes and watched, fascinated, while mummy and baby did this little dance together until they connected.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful apart from negotiating the morons driving in Busselton totally unaware that there is anyone other than them on the road, he got home safely after riding about 40km with some good memories and without any serious reaction to his injured leg.
While we’re on the subject of cycling, the other night while Ian was out on his bike he saw a Kangaroo by the side of the road, this wasn’t one of the dead ones that we would normally expect to see by the side of the road, this was one that looked like he was practising the Green Cross Code (how to cross a road safely for all of those who are too young to remember it), it was just standing on the verge looking, right, left, right again, saw Ian cycling towards him and thought, wait until the traffic has passed.
Ian however, not realising that Kangaroos did the Green Cross Code and that it would be safe to carry on as he was, decided to take defensive action in case the Kangaroo decided to jump on him as he went past and slowed down.
Now neither Ian or the Kangaroo seemed to like this scenario, the Kangaroo stood nervously by the side of the road looking left and right, wondering how long he was going to have to wait and thinking that if he had realised how slow Ian was moving he would have crossed the road ages ago and probably been eating his tea by the time Ian went past that point, Ian, unaware that the Kangaroo was getting pretty fed up with waiting for him to pass, waited until he was within a few yards of the Kangaroo before speeding up so as to get past the Kangaroo quickly.
The Kangaroo obviously saw the sudden speeding up of Ian on his bike as an act of aggression and decided to do a runner, the problem was that there was a fence a couple of yards back from the edge of the road so the Kangaroo had to follow the road, Ian had absolutely no intention of not following the road, so carried on cycling in the same direction as the Kangaroo, much to the distress of the Kangaroo.
A Kangaroo running is a really graceful animal, it reminded Ian of the TV pictures he had seen of a Gazelle or something similar, only the Kangaroo was doing it on two legs which just seemed move effortlessly as if on a couple of springs.
After a short distance and with the Kangaroo obviously not in the mood to race a pushbike, Ian decided to speed up and overtake it so as not to cause it any more distress, as he went past, the Kangaroo stopped and Ian could almost see it give a sigh of relief.
Late afternoon, Fraser and Marisa came back from Scout camp, both dirty, both smelly, both tired, but both happy, that was until Fraser had to do his homework, which had somehow appeared over the weekend, despite assurances by him that everything was up to date.
In the evening it was Veg out time before having an early night.


MamaOlive said...

loving the wildlife encounters!

Glowstars said...

I wonder if Ian should perhaps stick to riding in built up areas?

Mrs. Darling said...

Yikes! Tink would never go out again! She freaks out over one tiny spider. Sounds like quite the adventure!

Ganeida said...

lol I won't share our snake stories then. We share the house with one or two, who mostly choose to stay hidden. At least just now they are thinking about hibernating & are sleepy rather than agressive. Rather Ian than me when it comes to tigers though.

We get the occassional roo or walleby in the yard. They swim over from the big island east of us.