Warm spring days have stirred the reptiles into action. We heard magpies and other birds sounding a warning a few days ago, the kind they use for large predatory goannas. Sure enough soon after a giant Lace Monitor walked into our vegetable garden. He stayed close to the fig tree, sniffing for prey, before he retreated in a huff, having seen me lurking at the door.
Just after yoga last Wednesday morning a medium sized red-bellied black snake was seen swallowing a small blue tongued lizard …. that is why we rarely see the blue-tongues here. However we love the black snakes and lace monitors, for as well as native prey they also eat rabbits, rats and mice! The snakes are difficult to photograph, even when basking, but here is another shot of the big Lace Monitor at the front of the house. Our neighbours have some termite mounds on their land, the monitors breed there, laying their eggs in the mounds to keep them safe and warm.
Here he is again, climbing the sleeper retaining wall. Monitors are excellent climbers, able to find bird’s nests high in the canopy and help themselves to the eggs. Many years ago I found one trapped in the chook shed, stealing hen’s eggs … that was scary, it had broken the wire to get in but could not find it’s way out…. so I left the door ajar and retreated. They are magnificent creatures, rather like present-day small scale dinosaurs!