I would have posted the day after - Monday 11th - but that was Harvest Monday and I had something to show for myself and I would have posted on Tuesday 12th, but that was Zucchini Tuesday. So in case you are not sick of me posting every day, here is my Chinese New Year post - you see we had our very own Snakey Day for the first day of the Year of the Snake.
A good third of the snake's length was slipping over the top of the mint bed and up onto the pier of the house. I wasn't really expecting to see it there, right where I was about to plunge my hand to pick mint, so I can tell you honestly a let out quite a whelp!
I can only assume that the snake was similarly surprised to see me because it spent the next good while hiding from us under the house. The snake decided it especially liked being under the front stairs - comforting for the snake perhaps but not for us.
Shaken (and stirred) I decided to stay inside while my heart rate returned to normal. Instead the Lad kitted up (long pants, boots, mini gaiters and long stick in case) and went on snake vigil. He basically wanted to make sure we knew where it went and we hoped that it would move away from the house, but it didn't for a very long time.
Instead - twice, it decided that it would try to climb the stairs to the verandah.
Not wanting to hurt the snake, or worse anger it so much that it would strike, but also not wanting to share the verandah with it either, the Lad did some vigorous tapping of the steps with his long stick and deterred it from further ascending, phew!
But when it did head off it took its exit thru my now Wallaby-proof vegetable patch slipping over the rocket and parsnip bed and over the Minnesota Midget rock melon. It was amazing to see how if slipped thru the plastic mesh that looked much smaller than the diameter of the snake.
The snake disappeared into a crevice in a eucalypt close to the house. We hope that isn't its permanent home.
Now I am decidedly realistic person and not at all drawn to horoscopes whether Occidental or Oriental, but (oh right, here she goes, she just said she wasn't into these things!), I hope seeing a snake on the first day of the Year of the Snake is auspicious. Perhaps doubly so for the Lad? One can hope, it would be some compensation for the fright.
After promising each other not to leave the verandah without suitable boots and trousers, I kitted up the next morning on a peach picking round and, there it lay, just under the outdoor table and chair setting. A little vigorous shouting at it telling it it wasn't welcome resulted in the snake heading off into the grass metres from the front of the house.
Obviously the snake defence devices that I bought just don't work.
A belated Happy Chinese New Year everyone and may your house be snake proof, unless of course the snake happens to be your loved one!
Gong xi fa cai!