The Snake, The Pussycat and the Rower

Posted in Mixed Nuts on July 13th, 2010 by MadDog
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As you may have gathered from the title, today’s post is a bit of a mash-up of unrelated (or possibly not so  unrelated) items which, no matter how much I chatter on  about them, are not sufficient alone to be of much interest. So, be prepared to have your consciousness expanded in several directions simultaneously.

We’ll start with a phone call from good mate Mike Cassell yesterday morning. Mike started off with, “You’re interested in all those natural things, aren’t you?” (I may be paraphrasing here. Exact wordings no longer stick in my brain.) I answered cautiously, “Hmmmm . . . yeah.” You see, Mike is the guy who has, on a couple of occasions, spotted a big saltwater crocodile a few hundred metres from my house. You want to be careful how you answer his leading questions.

Anyway, Mike was down at the Madang Lodge, which he and his wife, Di, own. He said that there was a big green snake in a bush just outside the coffee shop. I said, of course, “I’ll be right there!”  Sure enough, there it was, a beautiful Green Tree Snake (Morelia viridis)  wrapped around some branches sleeping off a huge meal of at least one large critter, possibly two:

These snakes are so incredibly beautiful that you just have to say, “Wow.”

Here’s a close-up if its head:

The appointed snake attendant, who had been guarding it from molestation kept calling it “She”, but I have no idea of its gender. The snake requires a guard, because many local people will kill any snake which they see without even pausing to think about it. Snakes are almost universally considered to be very, very bad, for a variety of reasons. Nobody seems to know that there are non-poisonous snakes which are not only harmless, but very beneficial. Sadly, I have seen many beautiful, harmless snakes killed here because of simple ignorance and superstition.

Nevertheless, this story will hoepfully have a happy ending. I gently hooked my fingers around the head to give you a better look and and idea of the size of the snake. These are very docile snakes. I’ve handled them on many occasions and none of them have shown the slightest inclination to bite:

This one was so sleepy that it hardly noticed.

So, what does the snake have to do with this pussycat? Absolutely nothing. Meet Dory, The Ocean-Going Cat:

Dory sailed across the entire width of the Pacific Ocean  on a tiny nine metre sailboat with her original companions (cats don’t have “owners”) Kyle and Kathy Harris. At no time did Dory consider this an insane proposition, as did many of K & K’s friends.

What is she doing in my IT Dungeon? Well, what cat’s do best – napping. When her current companion left her in my charge for a few hours we made friends again and she wandered around meowing pitifully for a while, as cats are wont to do. Then she discovered the cat’s delight, an empty, cat-sized box:

So, that takes care of the snake and the pussycat. What about the rower?

I finally found my mis-placed USB cord for my Olympus SP-590UZ super-zoom camera and was able to look at the shots which I got when I motored out to try to find Roz Savage as she rowed through Astraolabe Bay  to Madang. Of the frames, this is the one which I like best:

So, there is  a connection between to of the living beings in this post. Two of them have transited the entire breadth of the Pacific Ocean  in tiny boats.

I think that Dory had the easier passage.

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