Minnie Miner saves me from a snake.
As our beautiful queen magpie Vicky is not feeling well right now, I decided to go and visit her. I walked along the road and spotted her in a tree in our side paddock. I called out hello, and took one step off the road towards the fence. Suddenly, I was confronted by one of our noisy miner friends, screaming loudly at me and looking down:
Things looked perfectly safe to me, but I knew our birds would not scream at us for no reason, so I looked (much) harder at the ground where I was about to tread, and here's what I found:
I am not a snake expert, and I couldn't see its head, so I am really not sure what snake it was. It doesn't look like a non-venomous python though, so I suspect it is one of Australia's many highly poisonous elapids. Any pointers from snake experts welcomed!
Anyway, by this time Vicky noticed my problem, so she flew down onto the road, where I could give her some more medicine. Meanwhile the snake slithered away rapidly in complete silence.
I'll tell you my belief about living in Australia anywhere near natural country. (This includes even suburban back yards, more or less anywhere except a tower apartment!) Wherever you live, make friends with the local birds! Magpies, butcherbirds, noisy miners, all of them will become your friends very easily. For years you think you are just feeding the birds and they don't understand or care. But then one day they get a chance to show you that they appreciate your love and they love you in return. It might be to warn you of a snake, or just to sing you a beautiful song when you are feeling down. But one way or another, the day will come when they prove to you that they are not just 'dumb birds'. They might even save your life.