It feels like we’re living in a zoo at the moment. I’m not having a go at the boys, who are mostly very well behaved and quite easy to live with. Despite endlessly dropping stuff on the floor, leaving doors open, losing things, screaming matches, the cycles of delaying tactics at dinnertime, bathtime, bedtime… if I have to ask you one more time…!!
Like I said, mostly.
No it’s to do with the fauna around here. We love living here amongst the trees and enjoy wildlife encounters on a regular basis; kookaburras, rosellas, wallabies, dragonflies, the contented croaking of frogs in the gully at night among many others. All fine. I’m even facing my arachnophobia on a regular basis, with a bare minimum of spider slaughter. It’s just I’m feeling that our usually reclusive neighbours are becoming more and more nosy and invading our personal space.
Complaint #1: A massive brown gecko lives under the dishwasher. I see him sometimes and say hi, and thank him for helping out with pest control. But I don’t appreciate him continually defecating in my entranceway, right in the middle of the floor about a metre from the threshold. Maybe he’s putting out his own little welcome mat for visitors, maybe he’s making a political statement. Maybe he just feels more comfortable with us now, and this is his way of being neighbourly. I don’t know.
Complaint #2: Enormous non-venomous but extremely hairy and jeebies – inducing spiders hiding everywhere waiting to pounce.
I discovered something a few weeks ago: Lord Varys is dead. The Spider, with all his plots and schemes – gone. I am a little sad, as I was really barracking for him.
…I also just reeeally wanted to write that because Game of Thrones Season 4 has started and I was hoping it would somehow lure fans here and they’d be all OMG I HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS HOW COULD YOU SPOILERS DIE DIE!!! To anyone here for that reason; 1) gotcha and 2) I am up to date with the books but will neither confirm nor deny Lord Varys’ continuing survival. However judging by the current trend he could be dead by next Monday.
Anyway, Lord Varys (our The Spider) IS dead; he’d been looking peaky for a while, then he disappeared. And as predicted he scared the absolute bejesus out of me when I found him again; he fell out from behind my vision board ‘scary boo jump movie’ style. I got him back though; fed him to the birdies the next day.
Complaint #3: Possibly deadly snakes loitering around my house.
Called the guy again, who couldn’t find it again, and we paid him $120.00 again. Had a chat with him and he’s pretty sure this one’s a harmless green tree snake. He’s deduced this from the photo, but also from the fact our balcony is about 4 metres off the ground and only accessible to tree snakes, Spider-Snake or a snake with a personal catapult.
It’d be a relief to think the only snake we’ve had around our house is this harmless one, but I’m sure the other snake was bigger.
As the guy was leaving he mentioned we might want to get something for the gap under the door to the garage as a snake will be able to get into the garage even with the door down. I investigated and couldn’t see how – why the heck would a snake want to come into the garage anyway?
Now that I know he’s harmless, I’m kind of looking forward to seeing him again.
Update a mere 30 mins later:
Be careful what you wish for. I heard an odd soft thump from the kids’ rumpus room. Looked over, couldn’t see anything, but rationalised with ‘something blew onto the floor.’ Five minutes later out of the corner of my eye I spotted movement in the shadows behind the TV cabinet and heard a definite ‘sshhh’.
Grabbed my head torch and very tentatively had a look. Barely visible amongst the tangle of power cords there was most assuredly a snake.
I am 100% positive this is not the same snake I saw that Saturday – I’m sure it was a bit thicker and browner. But then my memory isn’t what it never used to be (wombats) and I could be 100% wrong.
He was hard to coax out from behind the cabinet, especially when he realised he couldn’t slither well on the polished boards, but I finally choofed him out of the nearest balcony door (never touched him Your Honour).
Then I promptly lost him. Out in the open. I checked the boards, the poles below, the garden and behind our two potplants; nothing. Then I stepped back and there he was, calmly eyeballing me from the top of the railing.
He froze, presumably startled by my sudden leap backwards. He was still there when I raced back with the camera, and he very graciously posed for some photos. He was beautiful. Enormous eyes. Shiny black head. Brownish green body with flecks of light blue on his back. Yellow tummy. His long slender body flowed like liquid.
He eventually turned and headed to the floor, then suddenly threw himself out into space, dropping onto the mulch 3m below. This startled a bigger, dark brown snake (which up til then I hadn’t noticed) about two metres away which then darted under the footbridge. Jesus suddenly they’re everywhere! I almost expected Indiana Jones to turn up brandishing a flaming torch. I didn’t see where our cool customer went; I’ve named him ‘Plissken’ in honour of his house-breaking badassery.
Just went to sit on the media room couch – where there’s not much natural light – and a slightly darker patch of shadow made me stop and look closer. That bloody gecko! Sitting in my spot on the couch. I asked him to move and he did, disappearing into the cushions, but then I wasn’t game to sit down in case I squashed him. I’ve had that happen before, on this same couch, and scrubbing out decomposing gecko from where he’s soaked into the underside of the cushions isn’t something I want to do again. Fine you can have the bloody couch. Your name is now Homer Simpson.
On my way to check on the boys before bed I again heard a soft noise in the rumpus room. I stopped and listened in the half dark but couldn’t see or hear anything: I’ve been a bit on edge today, seeing reptiles everywhere and constantly checking the floor. I figured it’d been a big moth hitting the wall or something, and turned towards Finn’s room. That’s when my left toes came down on something cool and soft. Snake. Fuck!
…I SHAT. And then attempted to run away, but have you ever tried running like Wile E. Coyote without letting your feet touch the floor? Because there’s something with FANGS down there and you can practically feel them sinking into your leg? I have. I screamed as well, though it was more a strangled yodel, which then turned into a loud swear when I spotted what it was on the floor – a goddamn frog. I knelt down and with slightly shaky hands scooped him up, carried him out onto the balcony and put him gently on the table. What I really wanted to do was drop punt him into the garden. Frog, if I ever see you in my house again, your new name will be Freddo, and I will feed you to Plissken for morning tea.
Right, nosy neighbours. You know how I implied I liked feeling accepted into your little wildlife community? I take it back. Stay the frig out of my frigging house.
P.S. The next day the fright had worn off and I was again having happy feelings towards our furry/scaly/feathered friends. I was possibly a bit harsh before, but I was feeling a bit ganged up on and I did almost have a heart attack. After all poor old Kermit was probably just hiding from all the bloody snakes in the garden. Actually I think I might continue calling him Freddo, to remind him not to pull that stunt again because I don’t think my heart could take it.