Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Cold-blooded Encounter

I enjoy looking at butterflies fluttering around. They appear to be mobile ornaments for my garden. Robert Louis Stevenson once said that "Butterflies are like flying flowers, the flower a tethered butterfly." 
How apt, I would say by looking at them frolicking amongst the plants. As I strolled in the garden, my mind was on beautiful things and I stopped by

a nearby clump of Alpinias to select some for cut flowers. As I stooped down to sever the stalks,

 I felt as if I was being watched.

I looked up and lo and behold I saw gleaming eyes with piercing Medussa look.

It was a slender snake of about five feet long. 

It then slithered away deeper into the ginger torch clump.

I flipped through the large fronds and found it lying lengthwise along the long leaf stalk. It was certainly not pleased to be discovered and showed its displeasure by extending its forked tongue.

After a while as it no longer felt threatened, it changed its stance and ...

gave me a quizzical look.

It then turned its head sideways to get a better look at me. It looked at me hard and long. It was a very tense moment as we eyeballed each other.

“Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.” - Chanakya 

I then bade it goodbye and it lifted up its head as if in acknowledgement. We parted in peace. 

It was hovering near the wall probably because of small morsels of food such as this which was self-exhibited and ready for the picking.

An interesting shadow play was displayed with its pair of tentacles. It seems snails have poor eyesight. No wonder their eyes have to be located at the end of stalks. Dots at the end of the antennae make them look like eyes.

This snail has found a lovely way to shelter from the sun. The canary yellow petals of the Allamanda cathatica form the perfect canopy for it. Snails have a messy habit of leaving their droppings on the walls which are rather difficult to dislodge. Spraying with a stream of water under high pressure can dislodge them but the smudges remained - ugh!!!

Posted from Cork, Ireland. How time flies. I'm into the third week of my one-month sojourn in Ireland.


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