Go Darke

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it


Things you don’t want to share a box with

There is a swarm of bees that have decided to overnight in the shrub outside my kitchen window. Not some namby-pamby (hoity-toity) Northern hemisphere bees. “African KILLER Bees. BlackWatch”, to quote The Wu Tang Clan.

To be fair. I never knew there were other types of bees. I’ve always just assumed all bees got rowdy and chased you down and stung you to death. (Like Macaulay Culkin in My Girl) But I appreciate the prefix they’ve been given, makes me seem… edgy, for living in such a dangerous locale, where everything wants to murder you. Ha ha.

They are surprisingly difficult to photograph. I’m allergic, which is obviously problematic, so I don’t want to get too close. Its getting cooler, so they are likely just wanting to bed down for the night and are probably not going to get all up in my grill. Hopefully they’ll move off when it warms up again. (this is the forth, or maybe its the fifth big swarm we’ve had in year we’ve lived here)

Speaking of things that want to murder you. We took the girls on a snake handling course yesterday. Well, more awareness and first aid than handling. Our neighbors have been removing some undergrowth from behind their property which has agitated the locals and they’ve come slithering down the mountain and onto our property. The cat got bitten… when was it? Like two weeks ago maybe. In any event, its probably a good idea to infuse some knowledge into the progenies. (so that they know to run away)

For some reason I imagined it would all be benign snakes they would use with the kids. Ball pythons… *thinks* maybe a Burmese. First snake he whips out of his box is a Boomslang. Followed by a Puff-adder.

Then he hauls out a three meter Black Mamba. Lets pick the trifecta of Joey’s nightmares. *shudder*

I was actually going to do the Adult snake handling course, where they give you the hook and a snake and you have to coax it into a plastic tube… and then tip the tube into a bucket. Again, I thought, yeah they won’t give super dangerous snakes to the noobs to teach them this stuff, right? During the break I happened to walk past where they were doing the ‘practical’ training. Again, Boomslang and Puff Adder.

Boomslang venom is primarily hemotoxic… which means it stops coagulation… you basically bleed to death from every orifice in your body. BUT… its relatively slow acting. There is only one place that makes the anti-venom and none of the hospitals stock it it because its too expensive, the theory being they can fly you a dose before things get to that point. You’ll probably need a full blood transfusion though.

Ha ha. Words that fill you with confidence.

Puff adders are cytotoxic. So on a good day its only edema and necrosis. Infinitely more survivable. And more readily available anti-venom.

In any event, the adult course is the whole day… whereas the kids course was only until one pm, so we decided that I’d do the course the next time round on my own-some. Having now seen the participants. I am… well… less enthused (lets go with that).

I downloaded their App when I got home, which will geo-locate you and then tell you what snakes live in your particular location.

You know how they say ignorance is bliss…

… yeah, I don’t have that anymore.

Surprised to see mole-snake on there, and also listed as dangerous, because lots of people have them as pets. But apparently they can be quite foul tempered and have a nasty bite.

The Herald snake I coaxed into a container the other day is listed waaaaaay down on the list. Mildly venomous. Still, it was dark. I maintain that should up the ante (and also my manliness score)

Since we are on the topic. Enter stage left my new least favorite bug.

In Afrikaans they refer to it as a Rooibaadjie. Or Red jacket. In English its a Koppie Foam Grasshopper. A Koppie being a colloquialism for … a small hill… I suppose, and foam, because when threatened it starts oozing foam from every joint in its carapace. Its vile. And smells gross.

Its also poisonous.

You’d imagine this would dissuade my menagerie from trying to eat it.

…. you’d be wrong.

*rolls eyes*

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why basset hounds are so far down on the intelligent breeds list.




  1. tara caribou


    …In other news… Alaska has zero snakes. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

    1. Jo


      But you have bears. And mooses. Moosi? Mooseses?

      Those things are scary

      1. tara caribou


        While I’m not a fan of bears, the moose are fine (though they kill more people than bears)… we just respect them and tell them how cute they are (so as to help their self esteem). People worry me more than animals 🤷🏼‍♀️

      2. Jo


        Ha ha.

        Its a lot like here. Everyone is afraid of the snakes, and sharks and bit predator cats… but its actually the hippo that kills more people in Africa than anything else.

        Well… except Malaria. That still wins.

        I imagine its because Hippos are fat-shamed. And they’re angry about it.

        Which makes sense to me.

      3. tara caribou


        You’ve figured life out. I like that.

      4. Jo


        I really have. I’m a genius.

        (someone in the gallery starts laughing)


      5. Jo


        That sounds like the correct plural! Doctors know stuff!

  2. crustytuna


    So..it’s like Australia. Everything can kill you. And swiftly. Beautiful bug though.

  3. westcoastwoman


    Love hearing about and seeing the range of wildlife you encounter right in your back yard!
    Took care of my grandson last week and I told him the baboon on the coffee table story:)

    1. Jo


      Sorry, missed your comment. I’ve been so sparse lately. Ha! Glad I could entertain! I’m just glad I didn’t wet myself. 😉

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