Tag Archives: snake

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects

One of my favourite holiday spots is the West Coast National Park in the Western Cape.  Whenever we can we try to visit.  It is filled with all kinds of fauna and flora and small wild animals.

A few years ago we were steadily cruising through the park in search of interesting sights.  Imagine our surprise when we came across this…

Still snake and figurine

Now firstly the snake on its own would have been interesting, but to find a plastic figurine in a nature reserve was a bit freaky.  Take in mind that getting out of the car is not allowed so someone took a chance and carefully placed the figure there.  I took some pictures and we went on our way.

We came back and was again surprised at this:

Someone moved the figurine!

Obviously the snake is dead…cause it stayed in the same position for hours. And a brave visitor decided to play around with the figure.  Too much for me to take.  I dislike snakes ~ (as read here and maybe because of ignorance), and the irony is I live in wild Africa and love wild parks!

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Icing the wall

It’s DIY friday again and this is a quick post.  Please excuse me but due to the bakery training this week, I was unable to do a proper project.  So this minor, temporary do-it-yourself project will have to do!

We have been plagued by a mouse again. Being a nocturnal creature he stalks us at night while in bed. Some of you might remember my episode with a snake earlier this year. The constant influx of creepy crawlies and four-legged creatures into the dressing room were due to the hole in the wall.  We are unable to finish the ceiling right now due to budget constraints.

So after the training concluded on Tuesday I decided to tackle this challenge.  The hole needed to be closed up with mortar. There was another hour or so of sunlight left, so I started right away.

The dressing room is situated right at the back of the house.  It was like verging into unknown territory.  It looks quite terrible and needs a proper facelift as you can see…

Back of the house

As soon as funds become available, we will rebuild the top part of the wall, fix the roof and finish the interior with ceiling.  But for now, my pressing goal was just to close the holes.  I unfortunately didn’t take any pictures while in progress.

It was my first time plastering and I actually enjoyed it.  It was like icing a cake…except this was much messier and uncomfortable because of the height and angle.

Closing the holes

I managed to close up the 3 major holes and was quite chuffed with the result.  Yes I know, it doesn’t look glamorous to you…but to me it was a great achievement.  Girl power!

Hopefully the crawlies will now stay out!

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Snakes galore

We found another one.  It seems brown house snakes love dressing rooms or clothes.  This is the warehouse where we store all the donations we get as the 1in1out charity.

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So the warehouse is being cleared and shifted a bit this week.  So Eric, the church’s caretaker, came around yesterday announcing they found another snake while clearing the corner where they keep the pillows and fabric off-cuts.  See the picture below:

Clothes pile in the corner

I spoke to a snake expert a few weeks ago.  He reminded me that we live on grasslands and snakes are inevitable.  They were here way before we were, and we are actually disturbing their habitat.  He gave me a few tips on keeping them at bay…though this is no guarantee:

  • Long grass is a favoured habitat of snakes so keep yours well mown
  • Keep shrubs trimmed round their base and away from the house
  • Ensure that branches of trees do not overhang your house or seating areas in your garden
  • Stack your wood on a suitable platform – such as a pallet – off the ground.
  • Regularly sweep up leaves and other garden debris.
  • Fill gaps, cracks and crevices in brick and stone walls
  • Wooden decking in seating areas should be solid, rather than slatted, to prevent snakes climbing through it.
  • Be aware that play areas such as Wendy houses, Tree houses, sand pits etc are potential harbourages for snakes
  • Compost heaps could potentially attract many different species of wildlife which, in turn, may become the prey of a snake.  Ensure that your compost is made in a sealed and sold structure, preferably raised off the ground, and can be securely sealed against any wildlife but particularly rodents.
  • Do you have screens on your windows and doors?  Are there gaps around the frame or holes in the actual screening?
  • Do you have gaps under doors in & out of the house, garage doors, shed doors?  If so, bristle or sealing strip can be an effective way to seal these.
  • Are there are holes, cracks or crevices in the brick or plaster work of your house?
  • Are there any holes, cracks and crevices between patio areas or pathways and your house? – Drainage areas in patios are a perfect point of entry.
  • Is the gauge size of any grates covering your drains small enough to stop snakes going down it?
  • Make sure that there are no holes in your roof that snakes can get through – particularly if trees overhang your house.
  • Ensure Skirting boards do not have gaps under or behind them
  • Seal all holes where wiring, plumbing or gas enters your home
  • Cover gutters and drain pipes with fine gauge mesh
  • If your home has wooden floorboards ensure that access to the floor space beneath them is sealed and that gaps between the boards themselves are filled.

Now our snake was a house snake.  The name House Snake is appropriate in this species as it is often found near human habitation as it is drawn to them by the rodents that inevitably accompany humans. The brown house snake is harmless and an economically valuable snake as it preys primarily on rodents. This snake has become popular in the South African pet market because it is harmless, settles and breeds well in captivity. As with all other South African snakes, permits are required for possession. It lays six to 12 eggs which hatch after two and a half to three months.

2 things…Firstly, to me a snake is a snake.  Secondly, what if the snake I found laid eggs in my dressing room?  Oh my goodness!  That just freaks me out!

On the subject of that…we are slowly but surely making head-way with the dressing room.  

Carpet in dressing room

We still have a far way to go, but we are getting there.  Everyone knows how we like to recycle so a client who is renovating gave us cornice this week.  Now all we need is ceiling board.  All good things come to those who wait.

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Help…there’s a snake in my dressing room!!!

So it’s confirmed…we have snakes on the property.  And I am officially dubbed an animal magnet…a weird animal magnet.  I think they choose me.  We’ve had mice, meerkats and now snakes.

We spent the evening at Monte Casino this past Saturday night and got home at around 23h00.  I put the kids in bed and went to our dressing room to change into my pajamas.  I was really anxious to get into bed as the house is really cold at night.

I have told you about our dressing room before.  As mentioned, we haven’t really done anything to this room yet.  So it still looks a mess!

Our unfinished dressing room

So I was sitting on the chair taking my shoes off when for some reason I looked towards the door.  Something caught my eye immediately.  It was wrapped around the corner of the door.

Door where snake curled up

At first, I thought it was a rubber snake because it stood dead still.  Hang on…we don’t have a rubber snake!  Then I realised within a second that this was the real thing!  I let out a few shrieks that woke the whole household and within seconds there was total mayhem!

Ashley came running in and instinctively knew something was definitely wrong.  This was not my normal there-is-a-mouse-in-the-house-shriek.  This was my very first there-is-a-snake-in-my-dressing-room-shriek!  In a panic he kicked back the door and there was the snake right in front of me!  I have never been so freaked out in my life!

I just could not pass it!  What if it jumped on me when I passed?  Eventually I mustered up the courage to run pass.  Now for the record…we have seen a few snakes in our lives (we are from Cape Town and we love the bushveld)…but never had we been faced with a reptile in our home like that.  So lack of knowledge had a lot to do with our reaction.  I mean how often do you share your personal space with a snake?

So then the fight began.  He was brown, long and slender.  Ashley was big, had a broom in the hand, and was scared to death.  Please animal lovers do not hold this against us.  We did not know it was a harmless house snake.

Snake curled up on broom stick

I tell you the truth…it will take me a long time to get over this.  I cannot shake it.  Just the thought of it makes me squeamish and jittery.  We intend to get a Nature Conservationist or Snake specialist to come out to the property and advise us on what steps to take to keep our home safe.

Then we need to put in some ceiling boards and paint the floor.  So maybe the snake episode was not in vain.  At least we now have more urgency to get the room done.  We will keep you posted!

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