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Deadly Aussie Reptiles


Boom boom…


We only have adders to worry about over here. I have seen the warnings on G/CE-001 Cleeve Hill but never ever seen one.



We would have more adders, except that their numbers are kept down by our subtractor population - don’t worry, I’ll leave now!


My maths teacher had this story about the creation of snakes.

“Go forth and multiply” said you know who.

“We can’t, we’re adders” replied the snakes.

“So use logs”.


They are pretty wary and surprisingly fast. I remember surprising one that was sunbathing on Skye (yes, Skye does occasionally have a fine day!) It set off along the path and I followed, walking as fast as I could trying to get a photo (from a safe distance!) but it stayed ahead and then vanished under a boulder.

We do have some spiders that can give you a nasty nibble - the woodlouse spider and the false widow come to mind - but nothing that we have to take special precautions over.


Ahh, wildlife war stories. I’m surprised the mighty midge hasn’t featured as we attempt to show empathy for our VK colleagues!
Never having visited VK (yet), my closest call with a wild snake was whilst hiking on the Appalachian trail. I left the trail in search of a bush to take care of business and came face to face with a snake. I have no idea what it was, but both of us took off rapidly in opposite directions (fortunately). Privacy came lower down the list of priorities thereafter. :poop:
As for the bear tracks - sadly my wife is a much faster runner than I :running_woman:t3::bear:


There are several places in the Cheviots where adders will sunbathe in summer. They like old stone buildings such as the Barrow Mill Corn Drying Kiln in Coquetdale which accumulate warmth. There is also an area in the Harthope just north of the road and a bit east of the Backwood burn where I have found several sunbathing. One scurrying away is enough of a surprise but several departing in different directions is quite a commotion.


Saw 4 on my 11 Km return walk to Mt Foxlow yesterday. All sun bathing on the track. They are a fact of life in the Australian bush, you get used to seeing them and knowing how to avoid them. I still dont like them.


Met a few dugites and the like in WA, but they usually scarper PDQ. Not had the misfortune to meet any tiger snakes yet…

Here, the hazards are a little different; mambas, cobras and vipers being the main serpentine ones. This beaut was over five feet long, and definitely one to stay away from…

73, Rick 5Z4/M0LEP


Even in Central Europe you can have the opportunity to meet snakes. Here in the Northern Alps I had a few occasions where I proverbially stumbled upon them during SOTA activations.

During the descent from a SOTA summit suddenly something was aggressively hissing at me. A look down to the path showed that I unfortunately disturbed a snake that was taking a sunbath. There was plenty of space for the snake to escape but instead this aggressive, little beast preferred to not to leave this sunny place and continued hissing at me angrily.

The snake in the photo above is a Vipera berus, or common European viper, a venomous snake but typically the poison isn’t lethal, at least for adults.

The next photo also shows a beautiful exemplar of a Vipera berus. This time the meeting was quite surprising for both parties. On my way up to a SOTA summit I was scrambling up a rocky scarp when I saw a dark long thingy high above my head. In the first moment I thought it would be a rusty old steel rope like it is being often used for a via ferrata. Fortunately, I didn’t grab this long thing but instead pulled myself up using the rock. A look behind this rock didn’t show the expected rusted steel rope but exhibited this beauty:

It was a slightly precarious situation because neither the snake had any space to escape nor I could choose another route: I simply had to climb over the snake. Fortunately, despite the striking distance, this viper kept amazingly calm. The snake even didn’t hiss at me.

The last photo shows a Natrix natrix, ringed snake or grass snake. A harmless and not venomous snake. The snake was just enjoying the meal when I came across and therefore could not escape. I quickly took a photo and went on, in order to not disturb this reptile any further.

73 and HNY Stephan, DM1LE


Quite a meal Stephan! I don’t feel so guilty about the amount of Christmas turkey I ate now.


Many interesting critters out there, but none so smooth as Cleopatra’s asp.

HNY all, Ken K6HPX


Interesting how the venemous ones identify themselves to you by using your callsign in their markings :grinning:


We do have some snakes, adders and spiders in Portugal mainland.

But I never saw a snake with my call sign on his/her back!
Maybe I must to look better next time :wink:

Vy 73,



Go to Ireland if you want to avoid snakes.
Legend has it St. Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland :slight_smile:


John VK6NU ex EI4GY

PS I’ve encountered a few in VK6 on my Sota activations.


Dear Dorothy,

My last activation here in VK3 on NYD was a total failure. In spite of wandering around for an hour after the activation exploring tracks around the summit I did not come across one snake. I had my camera and was ready for an encounter. What am I doing wrong?




Try a little lower…


How low should I go? 25 vertical metres below the activation zone?

Still Bewildered.


Nothing! :neutral_face:


Goanna (or tree-dwelling crocodile? :grin:) encountered by XYL Rita on our ascent of Mt Ninderry VK4/SE-105 last week.

Seriously, this beastie was at least 2m long, and sunning itself beside the track until Rita powered on up to it. I’m not sure whether it was (wo)man or beast that was the more startled, although it’s quite evident as to the more cautious of the two.