Wednesday, July 20, 2016

20.July.2016 (Day 45)

As good as it gets

Tonight was the last night I've scheduled for myself to go out looking for snakes. 

I’ve been working extra hard to get the last few and the colder weather isn’t helping much. 

It’s really come down to the wire.

At the start of my trip I would have shrugged away the thought of finding two water pythons and one children’s python in a night.

Child’s play.

With the recent change in climate in the top end, however, I’m anxiously optimistic at best.

If you believe in that sort of thing, a full, blood-red moon hung on the horizon. An omen of good or ill I really didn’t know.

Wierdos always come out during a full moon

(I guess exhibit A is yours truly, a nervous biologist frantically searching for pythons)

The night did not start out as planned.

The back roads had higher than usual traffic.

THE WORST. See you at dinner, cow!

It was another cold night, and the one animal I did see was sleepy like everything else around here these days.

Do not disturb

But the winds eventually changed a bit and I managed to find two water pythons while wandering around in the bush.

Okay, one more snake to go. Come on Brusch, get in the game and find this thang'.

I’m not a religious man, but you better believe I was praying to whatever god that a snake would find its way to me.

Be careful what you wish for.

I am now confident of two things:

1) Thoughts/wishes/prayers need to be very specific
2) I am truly cursed at finding the smallest example of animals

The smallest children’s python in existence

Curses! You’ve got to be kidding me! This little fella couldn’t have been more than 20cm (~8in). Don’t think for a minute that I didn’t seriously consider nabbing it up.

I probably could get blood out of it if I needed….

A snake is a snake, right…

I’m pretty sure they haven’t laid eggs this year yet, so it’s probably an adult…

These are the thoughts of desperation.

Luckily the combined voices of all my mentors superseded my frantic wish to grab it and I had to say goodbye. Comparing this animal to the other 23 (actual adults) I've caught would have been silly at best.

Ugh, one snake short. Not the end of the world.

 Time to pack it up and head home.

Start the car, drive back to the field station with my head low and my tail between my legs.

Without getting too deep into the subject, whatever power controls the universe has a weird sense of humor.

The most beautiful snake I’ve ever seen


120/120 cane toads
75/75 water pythons
24/24 children’s pythons

I came, I snaked, I toad-ed.

[Mic drop]


  1. !!! Congratulations!!! And with humor the whole way through.

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