Friday, March 18, 2011

Snakes and field work



Meet Mr Red Belly Black Snake. How this little mate made me jump in the field. Drinking tinnies during bushfires does not save lives. Actually evidence implies that this poor snake was drinking post-fire as he was not burnt but the tin is. His head got stuck and he never escaped. The second snake photo is much less scary.



I went to the same sites at Mount Bold, South Australia to measure erosion pins over two and a half years. The first year was fine as the vegetation was so burnt the snakes could easily be seen. By the last trip I was walking through vegetation up to my head just hoping no wriggling reptile felt like biting me. I carried a snake bandage just in case. It’s one of those tricky situations as a PhD student. Ideally you do field work in pairs so someone can call for help if you get bitten. This either requires a large budget to pay for field assistance or some dedicated friends. I actually didn’t want company as an additional person would only cause more erosion to my field sites. There were less than 5 snakes I saw during my fieldwork. It was still 5 too many.

4 comments:

count it all joy said...

Much as I love ya Ro, there's no way I'm EVER joining you on a field trip. You are seriously brave. I thought going to Woolies on a Saturday morning was tough...I'll remember this post next time I think about complaining:) Hope all is well - Meredy xo.

TammyJ said...

Neither the burnt nor un-burnt snake appeal to me ... uurgh! I really don't know what I'd actually do if I saw one.

Becky said...

The poor snake - just wanted a treat. A definite sign that liter is dangerous.

Dmarie said...

how sad to get its head caught in trash! what kinda world do we live in anyway! (your field work sounds fun...despite the occasional snakes!)

http://bettermebetterworld.blogspot.com/

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