Monday, March 14, 2022

The Bronzeback


Watching the Bronzeback Tree Snake is like watching a magician at work. Their near-perfect camouflage makes it almost impossible to spot them when they are up on a tree, especially if they are not moving. I’ve been finding their moulted skin regularly around our house, sometimes several of them together, which tells me we are surrounded by them. Yet I’ve only managed to see them clearly only once or twice, and that too when they were down on the ground. If you are lucky to spot them before they spot you back, you get to follow them as they try to look for cover. And this is when they perform their special trick. They rise up, in a gravity-defying way, reach out to the lowest hanging branch and lift themselves up into the foliage. If your luck continues you will see a gently progressing wave of shaking leaves as the snake travels - or is it “surf - in the foliage. When the wave stops, you inspect the general area and you might find the snake come to rest on a twig, fully trusting its own camouflage.

Today happened to be a lottery-winning kinda day, because I managed to trace one of these snakes over two trees before it came to rest and also happened to have my camera in my hand. The snake let me take a half dozen pictures before it realised its cover was blown. Like the consummate superhero, it promptly put on its invisibility cloak and disappeared into the foliage.

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