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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Night adder

Earlier on today, our deputy principal at school, got a frantic call from his daughter at home. There was a snake in the house. He rushed home, he lives quite close to the school, and found a small night adder in the passage. He scooped it up in an empty mayonaise bottle and brought it back to school with him. The adder was only about 8 inches long with beautiful makings. As he did not want to release it near the school he brought it to me and asked me to release on the farm.

Night adder (Causus-rhombeatus).

There are five different types of night adder that occur in sub-Saharan Africa. They don't grow very big, 60cm being average, up to about 90cm. Night adders are not very venomous and live mainly on frogs and toads. In spite of their name are quite active during the day. It was strange to come across one so early in the season, I would not have expected snakes to be active before September, looks like summer might be here sooner than we think.

I released the snake on the edge of the property. It took a few moments for realization to sink in that it was free, lifted it's head and flicked it's tongue out and took stock of the situation. Unerringly it made it's way to a jumble of sticks and dry grass a few meters away.

Looking at it glide through the dry grass I marvelled at it's perfect design, the grace with which it moved and disappeared.


Pumice said...

I have never understood why people hate snakes so much. My only concern is that I don't deal with them enough to know which ones are dangerous. I always like to see one in the yard. It means that there will be fewer pests.

Grace and peace.

Jo said...

I agree with Pumice that people shouldn't hate snakes without reason. I love having them in my garden. Two weeks ago Stanley found one under a rock in my garden (he was hunting for insects for Grant to use for fishing) So he said to me: Bring your camera and take a photo of this snake then I can kill it! I lectured the poor lad about not killing this snake, and although I took my camera it was too dark to photograph it in the hollow. (And Stanley kept hanging onto my arm begging me to be careful as it's "very dangerous") It looked just like yours in the picture. After the weekend my neighbour, Kenya's Steve Irvine from Bethlehem, caught it and released it in the bush. I hope it survived! Have a good weekend, Phil. Love and blessings, Jo

Desiree said...

I am frankly not at all partial to snakes! I don't HATE them, but I definitely don't LIKE them, either. I prefer not to see them up close, or even at a distance. And, my worst nightmare involves snakes...LOTS of them!

Melger said...

I love snakes, actually go and look for them. Found a medium size night adder at my back door this morning! Made my day!! I got the world of respect for them... especially after I’ve been bitten by a Western Diamond Back Rattler. Still love to handle and photograph them.