Pats 'stick' Scorpion
Smallish female Australian Sea Lion on the beach in front of camp.
A large female Orb Weaver right in the camp.
The small Bandy Bandy in our Billy. (hows that for clever naming of a species)
Yep, lets go camping in Australia folks, these pics are taken from just one four day camp near Port Gibbon in Southern South Australia.
Other countries have great scenery, great mountain views and forests and lakes...we may have all those things but we're too busy looking down to see what we're treading on...
Of course we all know that the biggest White Pointer Sharks live right here in our waters together with the quite deadly Blue Ringed Octopus and many, many other poisonous sea creatures. Everyone knows that most of the worlds most dangerous snakes come from right here, while I was looking up this small snake I found that of the 27 snakes found here 23 of them are poisonous...hell, that’s near enough 100% for me!
..and spiders? It’s getting too cold for the Red Back now we’re into Autumn, so they can only be found under bark, tin or other cover but now it’s the time for Orb Weavers and other hunting spiders like the Huntsman or Wolf Spider which can be seen pretty much everywhere. One of our campers used his hand to collect the odd little Orange and Black snake (Bandy Bandy) and was very sick the next day and for several days after…though he insists he did not get bitten another camper says it looked like he did.
While I was Googling to see if he was likely to die or not it occurred to me that we Australians are pretty blasé about the deadly critters we share the country with.
Indeed our barefoot kids and grandkids were running around camp and playing while one camper lay sick and I was busy looking up his symptoms on the laptop.
Next day my daughter was busy in the camp kitchen (housework follows you everywhere) and noticed a ‘stick’ stuck to her shoe. Upon further inspection she realized it was a Scorpion she must have annoyed… she now holds the record for the fastest removal of shoes. A day later she was showing me where that happened and we found another one… or the same one that came back. (does anyone know about the homing instincts of Scorpions?)
Each evening the huge Orb Weavers quickly spin a new web to catch as many insects as possible before it gets too cold for them and they have to retire to their hides. The one pictured used the light streaming through the cars window to hunt right in front of us each night. There's nothing freakier than walking through an Orb Weaver web in the dark… you know that spider is in there somewhere. I’ve been bitten by Orb Weavers many times now…it’s about the same as a bee sting.
Danger was not reserved just in the camp though, the sand hills are covered with Snake, Spider and Centipede tracks…BIG poisonous Centipede tracks.. and the beach is home to Australian Sea Lions. Not your cute and friendly Seal types, these Sea Lions grow huge (over a ton) and have teeth like giant Rottweilers. If you surprise them or if you happen to disturb them they chase you with every intention of either crushing you or biting you, I know this from experience as I got too close many years ago and was chased up a sand hill. (OK, so it was only a few metres but it was just as well I had brown underpants on that day) During the day they haul out and lay in the warm sea weed, near enough invisible as you walk by, should you happen to invade their personal space however…
So why do we take these dangers in our stride and ignore the possible threats to our lives?
Fucked if I know!
* No animals were hurt during this camp, however one or two of the campers may still die.