Basilisk

Image Details: ‘Basilisk’ by asra_valorshon, via Flickr

I covered the slightly furrier residents at Shinybees Huis in Wildlife at the new gaff Part 1, and the non furry Gary and Barry, the geckos that shared the Babybee’s room. Well I have some sad news to report vis-à-vis Gaz and Baz. They are MIA, presumed KIA, and have been for a couple of weeks. I have been holding off on posting this sad news until I could get some kind of confirmation of their status, but as a much larger gecko has taken up residence in one of their usual outside spots, I feel now is the time to come to terms with the fact that they are probably no longer of this earth. I think it is also no coincidence that around the same time that Gaz and Baz first went missing, we were alerted to the presence of another cold blooded animal in our midst.

Mr Shinybees came home from work early one morning and as he pulled into the drive, he noticed a large green snake sitting in the tree which hangs over the driveway and garage. Being the Grandson of a snake expert, he came rushing into the house to get his camera, despite knowing nothing about what type of snake it was and whether or not it would take kindly to being papped. By the time he got back out side, the snake had retreated to its lair, which is in the roof of our garage, and was peering out of his hidey hole in a rather sinister fashion.

The Basilisk

So, we did what everyone does when they find a snake in their garage: emailed a picture to the family snake expert in Kenya. This brought the news that our resident was a Boomslang. Now, I had been joking with my dear husband for weeks since moving to SA about completing Boomslang checks before going to bed, and he had been theatrically looking under the bed and couches in a comedy fashion a la Basil Fawlty, whilst the whole time, unbeknownst to us, there was an actual Boomslang sleeping in the garage. Oh, how we laughed. Once we’d stopped screaming, that is. Luckily, said snake expert had given us a leaflet on snake bites when we visited the snake farm, and, me being me, I saved it as I knew it would come in handy one day. How smug was I when I came running back from the bedroom, brandishing my literature. Oh yes. Smugger than a smug thing.

Is that a bird in your belly or are you just pleased to not see me?

Anyway, we were given a raft of information on Boomslangs (thanks, Sanda!), the number for the anti venom place in Jo’burg and told to give him a name, which I had already done, because if you give a dangerous animal a silly name, it clearly makes them way less scary. Doesn’t it Billy? Billy Boomslang.

Still oblivious to the little Northerner sneaking around behind him

I know some people are probably shuddering at the thought of a dangerous snake living in the garage, let alone naming him, because if you give them a name, that’s it, you can never get rid of them, but I rather like Billy. I would much rather have a snake there that is used to us and our movements and that I know is there, than find a Black Mamba in my stash, if you catch my drift.

And I reckon that isn't even half of him out of the hole.

Touch wood that won’t happen, but there has been an interesting development on the Boomslang front. It would appear that Billy has a girlfriend, who we know as Betty.

Woooaaaah Black Betty, bam-a-lam

Fancy a bit of Boomslang ‘Where’s Wally?’

Where's Betty?

We knew there was a snake somewhere about the place as we had found snake skin in the garden a few days earlier. Pleasingly, as it was Boomslang, we can rustle up some Polyjuice potion if the need arises. Dream.

Just when I thought that I had had quite enough excitement for one day, up popped Minotaur the Monitor Lizard in the back garden. I really hope my Mum doesn’t read this blog or this will freak her out good and proper. I’ve seen plenty of small lizards, but this one is more like a crocodile. And double-hard with it, he didn’t seem scared at all.

Who's a pretty boy?

I mentioned the super sized gecko. He lives near the outdoor light which I keep on at night and it attracts a lot of mosquitoes and moths, which he just sits there picking off as though he is at an all you can eat buffet.

How awesome is his skin?

And finally, now we have a bit more warthog love. This one is for you Louise, from Caithness Craft Collective. Hope Sandy and Daisy like it!

One hog went to mow, went to mow Jo's garden...

One hog and his baby hog, went to trash Jo's garden.

And me getting the last laugh, this time at least…

Squeal, piggy, squeal!