Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kiss of the Cobra - A Tribute to the Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese lunar calender, the Chinese Spring festival falls on the 10th February 2013 which is the year of the water snake. There are twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, thus the next cycle where the snake is featured will be twelve years away. Every 12-year cycle is associated with one of the five elements; wood, water, earth, fire and metal.


Snakes likeness on spiral Dracaena Sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo) for year 2013. The Chinese character 'Fu' on the old form of gold ingot means good luck or good fortune.

Something old and something new. I bought eight new stems of Lucky Bamboos and added six long stems of the old leafy ones. The latter were propagated from previous years' bamboo spirals. The leaves grew from the nodes in the spirals.


In July 2010, I was at the balcony of the Penang Hard Rock Hotel, enjoying the view below when I saw a crowd gathering round ...

a snake charmer. I quickly grabbed my camera and rushed down to join the crowd.


He had his 'precious' in the basket while a man with a tatoo of a frog hovered nearby, probably thinking of luring it out.

The Monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) with its hood flared out, slithered languorously out of the rattan basket ...

towards its master for a reassuring smooch. Cobras are venomous snakes and their venom is a neurotoxin, affecting the nervous system. If not treated early, death occurs due to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest as a result of paralysis of the associated muscles.
 

The snake was swung up high for a good view of the audience. It seems cobras can  see very well even at night.


It was then brought down to eye level for an eyeball encounter. Meanwhile the snake flicked its blue tongue rapidly ...



and drooled too. Or perhaps it was from the snake charmer.

This is the King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) which is the longest of the venomous snakes. It is light brown with pale yellow bands across the whole length of its body. It can be distinguished from other cobras from the inverted V stripe across the back of the head and neck instead of an eye (monocle) or two eyes (spectacles).


It too came for the smooch.


The Kiss, but not the mouth-to-mouth type.


So, gingerly, he tried again.


The King cobra was quite helpful and assisted in holding up the mike.


It was quite a handful to gather it up back into the basket.


 I'd rather have these cute, docile 'snake' buns for sale at a pastry shop anytime. They are yummy to boot.



This common garden snail glided determinedly on Dracaena Sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo) to rub off some of its luck. On its wish list is certainly one on being free from predators in the Year of the Snake, particularly the snakes themselves!!!



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