14 December 2012

Camera shy? Consider the python

This diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota) was sunning itself on a forest path today, and felt exactly as I do when photographed. Even a snake is an individual, a truth which sadly, is not self-evident. Although a brown snake and I startled each other once under a medlar tree while we both hunted for wayward-hens' eggs—it rearing up in a sideways S and me rearing back on my heels—this is the first time I've seen a python exhibit this response of fear and if not loathing, definitely admirably dangerous attitude. Usually they do as redbellies do, but slower—slip off into the bush. This one literally never wavered, though its blue tongue flickered.

While all snakes are beautiful, these glossy diamond pythons are my favourites. Although my photographs didn't do it justice, once I came upon one looped around a small acacia here, and the light gold you see on this one was, in that individual, aquamarine.

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