Talk about a close encounter…
We decided to spend a day at the Moore River Estuary, and set off early
morning to drive up there.
When we arrived the sun was already well up, and the temperature was rising steadily into the 30’s. Looking around we found a nice little spot to park where we could set up our chairs close to the river mouth and enjoy the spectacular view. My friend wanted to sit on the beautiful sandy beach with our backs to the rock wall to avoid the sea breeze, but we finally decided to perch up on the grassy bank where we were a little higher to get a better view.
So there we were, laid back in the sunshine with a beer in one hand and a packet of crisps in the other and all was right with the world. Suddenly, a tiny movement on the bank slightly to one side of me caught the attention of my right eye.
The movement I had spotted was the flickering in and out of a snakes
tongue. Slowly slithering towards us, and less than 2 metres away was a LARGE
(about 5 ft long) and highly venomous King Brown snake. I slowly stood up and
so as not to startle the reptile whispered to my friend“Don’t look”
Knowing her paranoia of snakes, I suppose that was the worst thing I could have said.
Before I could utter the next words, which were going to be “Move away” her eyes followed my gaze and stared transfixed for a second straight into its face. The next thing I knew, she had somehow completed a backward somersault over the side of her picnic chair and within a few VERY LARGE strides had made it to the car. I was feverishly trying to get my camera up and running so as to get a full in the face photo of this magnificent beast when a quivering but commanding voice squeaked “Give me my bag”
Not knowing which bag she meant, and not seeing the relevance of maybe applying some lipstick I at first ignored it.
A much louder and firmer voice then boomed out “GIVE…ME…MY…BAG”
I then realised why she was so insistent. The keys for the car were in her handbag.
Realising it had been rumbled, the snake slowly changed its course, and made its way down into the gaps in the rocks. The very rocks which we had nearly decided to sit with our backs to. Phew!!!
Once in, it took a hell of a while to coax her out of the vehicle after me carrying out a thorough search of the area.
From that point on any thought of going for a walk along the River Valley were banished. It was all I could to persuade her to sit there and finish our picnic, albeit with her feet planted high on the ice box.
She told me to go and tell someone about the snake, since there were many children running up and down playing along the grassy bank. But who to tell? There were no rangers in the area. When I approached a guy who was walking along with his family, he just looked, shrugged and said “So what, there are probably thousands of them here”
Welcome to Australia!
Send me an email about Moore River
Problems with a link? Mail me.
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 David Tooley. All rights reserved