05 December 2012

Letters to Santa and an unexpected visitor

Ruby 'I like cute things and yeah'

Grace - 'hug, mini chimney'

Nina - 'if I had to deliver ALL those presents it would be quite hard'

Lily - 'toys, I want'

We live in a very urban environment, so I am usually delighted when nature makes itself felt: the raucous laughing of the kookaburras by the creek, the screeching flock of lorikeets (I think they are) that settle in the gum each evening, even the pesky possums. But the news that our neighbours had seen an Eastern Tiger Snake in their garden, or 'nake' as Lily would say - is more nature than I'm comfortable with.

Suddenly those ideas that foreigners have about all the venomous beasties that threaten Australians seemed slightly less laughable. My kids run around barefoot all the time, and the weed situation is not (ahem) always kept under control. Plenty of lovely long native grasses, and a nice sunny deck to lie on for any passing snakes. One blind terrier that won't see them and one black pug whose only interest is snaffling dropped food present no threat.

Our neighbours called the 'snake man' who couldn't find it and reassured them that it wouldn't be settling in their garden. It was most likely passing through, kicked out of its creek environment in a territorial dispute, and making its way to the more popular snake habitats of Alphington and Ivanhoe, where gardens are bigger and more likely to incorporate the large rocks beloved of these reptiles. To get to our neighbour's place from the creek it would have had to cross a very busy bike path, two sets of railway tracks and a bitumen road. That blows my mind. I'm a bit 'good on you snake' and a bit 'bugger off and stay by the creek whydoncha?'


  1. Your kids are very lovely: "I'd appreciate anything really"!

    I love the jacaranda. I was in Adelaide recently and everything was just an explosion of purple. Blew my mind!

  2. Love the letters to Santa. Such kindness towards the Old Man. And Kookaburras? Those are real birds that you get to see and hear, not just the stars of our silly children's songs? So exotic!