We weren’t sure whether we would be hosting a slithering summer squatter this year, considering the absence in 2021. Our question was answered one evening in early December when we spied the familiar form from the kitchen window.
The Tasmanian tiger snake (Notechis scutatus humphreysi) has an unfounded reputation for being aggressive. Although one of the world’s most venomous snakes, they are actually very shy creatures and would rather retreat than attack, saving their venom for important things like their next meal. This may not be the same snake as previous years but she certainly had the same habits and was very comfortable with our presence. Mornings were spent warming up on the eastern side of the pond,
seeking shade when too hot
and stretching out when cool ,
then back to shelter.
Tasmanian climate isn’t the easiest for temperature regulation, even for humans. Sometimes a little creativity is needed to warm up,
but usually a good stretch against the rocks is the best way.
There were some mornings we couldn’t see Snakey (as she is affectionately known) and assumed she had gone off hunting for the day. Complacency is not recommended as she can turn up where least expected.
I much prefer her presence to be obvious.
In the afternoon, she would often be lounging on the rocks above the pond
or returning from adventures for refreshment
before relaxing in contented contemplation.
I like to think there is a subliminal connection between the tiger snake and tiger lilies, they seem to complement each other.