When I lived in Townsville, one of my colleagues asked me to identify a snake she'd seen in her garden. She described it as being brown and having a piercing stare. This didn't narrow it down much. We decided that whatever the species, it was best to steer clear. Brown-coloured snakes in Townsville are never good news.
The snake was in the same place when she returned home. And was still there the next morning as she left for worl. When she eventually investigated (armed with a broom), the fearsome serpent turned out to be a piece of hessian.
We've all done it.
I went out into the garden this evening to take photos of the katydids and moths on the front windows. It's a good spot for them. Because I was only going a couple of metres, I didn't bother to put on shoes. I didn't go barefoot, of course, because that would be silly. I wore plastic sandals.
As I stepped off the concrete slab onto the dead lawn, something thin and black and glossy reared up and then started thrashing around. It was so animated, for a split second I thought it was an eel. But that misapprehension didn't last very long. I immediately stepped back onto the concrete and the snake headed towards the forest. It stopped about three metres from the house, where it remains. It hasn't moved for the past hour or so. If it's still there in the morning, I'll check it for weave.
Although my reptile ID skillz are not great, I think it's a small-eyed snake (Cryptophis or Rhinoplocephalus nigrescens), a small but potentially dangerous serpent. This species is reputedly bad-tempered, a personality trait that may be part of the short snake syndrome. They're usually only about 0.5m long, but make up for that in a spirited response to threats. The venom is myotoxic and at least one person has died from a bite.
I must make sure that the pressure bandages are somewhere I can find them. I suppose I could always use a sack in a pinch.