Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are.

I'm a city girl.

I appreciate a good pavement. I am fairly comfortable with neighbours, proximity to people. I don't despise a lawn or the odd tree and quite like flowers growing in the garden, but I don't go weak at the knees at the propsect of spending all day outside surrounded by 'nature'. I quite like inside. Nature, I feel, has issues.

So I feel a little out of place here. May through to September was idyllic and really enjoyable. But then September came and the little respite from the heat that Brisbane experiences was over. And out came all the animals.

And in Australia the animals tend to be lethal. They might look cuddly, but any animal that actually manages to survive here is at the very least hardy, if not adopting the view that it's best to kill outright on sight any perceived threat. But not all animals are life threatening.

For example: South-east Queensland is home to approximately 27 snake species, but only 13 are regarded as medically significant.

So speak the wise ones of I hope you feel the relief that I did upon learning that less than half of the snakes in our area are 'medically significant'. 

Similiarly, not all the ticks in our area will actually kill you. Some of them will, of course, but not all. Seed or grass ticks, for example, won't do you fatal damage. They may give you the controversial 'lime disease' depending on who you speak to. And they will leave a scar for months, as they have to our 2yo's back, but they won't kill you. At least one won't. Many? Probably.
Me with my little country boy

We've had six ticks so far, not counting the near fatal tick attack on the dog. And one snake, a 'harmless' carpet snake that the snake catcher wouldn't remove because '... you want it around.' No, really. I don't. It's a snake. 

I think I've morphed. I can no longer claim to be a simple city girl. I own two pairs of tweezers, numerous pressure bandages and a special cream that kills ticks. I insist that the boys wear closed in shoes when they dash around outside. I know that you can kill ticks you suspect might be in your clothes by putting them in the dryer for 20 minutes on 'high'. I have found and killed six ticks, not counting the three I removed from the dog. I have the number for the snake catcher for our area on speed dial on my phone. I do a tick check on our boys every night and I know the places to look.

All this bush lore is burdensome.

All you have to worry about in the city is the people who might kill you. Or take your money or something. JMB


Diane Lovell said...

The houses we grew up in backed on to sugar cane fields. Every crushing season we'd have king browns in our yards. We never experienced ticks but snakes, yep, lots of snakes.

Anthony Douglas said...

You should try it down our way, where at one point we were removing multiple ticks from the family, daily - it's been a great winter if you're a tick.

Then there was that little brown snake that showed up outside the garage door...

Laetitia :-) said...

Apparently if you get rid of the carpet snake you're more likely to end up with something venomous moving in - attracted by the rats that the carpet snake would have eaten.

Baddelim said...

So, perspective. Thanks for bringing it guys.
I think a snake in our bedroom wall kept me awake for an hour this morning while doing whatever noisy thing it is that snakes do in walls. At least it was on the other side of the wall.