An accomplished, well travelled writer and reviewer, Michele resides in Brisbane. Witty and highly articulate, her rivetting reviews show life through the eyes of a highly Gifted Adult viewing a world where she has an IQ in the top 1% of that world.
Published April 21st 2012
"You knew I was a snake before you took me in."
If you go down in the woods today wear the right gear and have some basic snake intelligence and a first aid kit.
Don't wear 'ya, bush walk' German tourist sandals. Don't wear she'll be right mate' thongs. They're not all lining up to wave to you, but a lot of wild life lives in our forests. It's their habitat, not yours. You're on their turf.
Wear hiking boots, thick socks and jeans. As you walk, glance at the ground. I've nearly stepped on a snake stretched out across the trail grabbing some rays. Remember, they are cold blooded and cold hearted and rely upon the sun for their thermo-regulation. They are as reptilian as a a crocodile but it's a less gruesome death.
When you walk into the bush they don't all slither out to bite you. They are usually hidden and lying in wait for prey which is not you. Think snake real estate and don't put an arm or a leg into a hollow log or under large rocks. Don't leave the track to kick a pile of leaves. Look before you sit on a rock as a warm rock is their number one solarium.
If you are like me, you'll have a look at species in the region and memorise the deadliest. They bite when disturbed and they can raise themselves to lunge forward fang first if they feel like it. It's debatable whether snakes dislocate their jaw or the jaw separates to allow consumption of prey. But they can open their mouths very wide and wrap them around your leg.
Treat every snake as venomous if bitten. Lie down and immobilise the casualty. At the very least you will have with you a large compression bandage. Nice if you have some gauze. Lay the gauze on the bite. It helps collect venom which the doctors use to identify the species and get the right stuff out of the cupboard. You don't need to kill the snake and take it along.
Bandage firmly over the bitten area, down the limb and then back up. Hopefully, you will have mobile coverage and all will be sweet as you keep your patient calm and still. In case your phone drops out, when you get through to 000, say "Mayday!" If coverage continues you can talk details. If you said, "Mayday!"
and lost signal, don't hang up. Triangulation can be used to locate you.
But, the objective is to avoid being bitten by snakes who are avoiding you and you will have a lovely day.