Many species of snakes call the lush sub-tropical rainforests of Springbrook National Park home. Some, such as the Red-Bellied Black Snake and the Eastern Brown Snake are two dangerous snakes that pack a powerful poison in their bite.
There are also relatively harmless pythons and tree snakes but you can imagine the adrenalin juices starting to flow as I stumbled across this little beauty somewhere between Goomoolahra and Rainbow Falls.
We were on the home stretch after about 5 hours on the trail on fairly even ground so you could say that we were in cruise control. The track was quite narrow but I noticed something moving not far ahead and as I got closer I realised it was a 2.5m brown/olive python patterned with yellowish diamonds (it was later identified as the harmless but still very impressive Carpet Python).
It was moving at a steady pace away from us but not quick enough to escape a photo session. I managed a couple of shots from behind and my more agile son skirted around and got a close up from the front.
Normally the camera flash doesn't go off in broad daylight but under the dark rainforest canopy it did and surely startled our new found friend. It quickly reared up and hissed in self defense before turning off the track and into the forest. Although non-venomous this python has a powerful bit that can pierce through flesh right down to the bone.
My son gave it a quick tickle under the belly for good luck and as the tail disappeared into the undergrowth the python was nowhere to be seen. In fact you wouldn't know it was there.
I heard the baby wail-like call of a Brush Turkey nearby so my guess is that it was being lined up for lunch. The Carpet Python can swallow anything up to the size of a small dog.
As we set off again I took the lead and heard my son behind me say "that made my day" which brought a big smile to my face. I doesn't get any better than that!
Update 06/06/07 -
See my Springbrook Travelogue for a sequence of Snake versus Kangaroo shots.
As I was walking the Warrie Circuit I ducked under some low hanging branches I ducked but felt my hat disappear from my crown.
Instinctively I turned around to pick it up from the ground but alas it wasn't there. I looked around in confusion only to find it dangling from a tiny and insignificant branch.
Upon closer inspection this small branch had tiny barbs along its length and one of these hooked my hat and held it high above the ground.
I have no idea what species of plant it belongs to but the "hat snatcher" seemed an appropriate name for it.
The lushsub-tropical rainforests around Springbrook National Park are a haven for many mammals and reptiles.
The trick is when when and where to find them. Many of the animals are nocturnal and best seen at dusk or night.
I was fortunate enough to come across an echidna who was too busy feating on ants to be concerned about me taking his photograph. Echidnas are apparently not that common around Springbrook and are usually only found foraging in the debris of fallen trees.
The land Mullet is a fat black shiny lizard about 40cm long and is very common in Springbrook. It is in fact the world's largest skink.
Springbrook National Park also abounds with bird life and surprisingly entirely with native birds. For serious birders who are prepared to spend time in the forest you will be well rewarded with sightings of cockatoos, parrots, pigeons, doves, whistlers and many ground feeding birds.
Most of the animals here see us humans as predators and are more likely to retreat from us than attack. If you leave them alone they will gladly return the favour so please let them be.
In the interest of your own safety and to prevent destructive erosion of the delicate eco systems of these lush sub-tropical rainforests... please, please, please stay on the well marked tracks.
For years, we have all been told of the importance of water. The general guideline has been to drink 2 litre of water each day. For a person who is not living an active lifestyle this may be enough, but if you are physically active, you need more water than that. That is especially true if you are hiking in the Springbrook area due to the fact the average temperature is much higher than other areas and the landscape goes up and down.
Water is essential for everyone, especially if you are hiking. Water helps almost every part of the human body function properly. Our bodies are almost two-thirds water, and proper hydration is essential to keep your body functioning properly during the hike. Some of the things water does in the body are:
* The brain is 75% water; even moderate dehydration can cause headaches and dizziness;
* Water regulates body temperature, which is especially important here in the area where the temperatures can be so brutal;
* Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body
* Blood is 92% water;
* Water protects and cushions vital organs;
·* Water converts food into energy (which is something you will need on a 3 to 4 hour hike…);
* Muscles are 75% water, and you will use many muscles on a trail as you climb above the desert floor.
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the catchy title of the 1992 bestseller by John Gray, succinctly expresses an ancient dilemma. What--if anything--do men's and women's brains do differently?
The general statement that men and women respond and behave differently under the same circumstances is true; For example, from the crib, male babies tend to be more aggressive and females more passive. As adults, in spatial operations, men have the edge in such skills as negotiating a maze, reading a map, and quickly discriminating between right and left. Men also perform better than women when asked to visualize an object and imagine rotating it. On the other hand, women tend to perform better than men when asked to look at objects of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and then to group them in some order.
This still doesn't explain why Relinde turns the map all around when I'm asking for the road to travel, while I like the map at one point so I can better visualize our position. Help!