I spotted this beautiful plant in the middle of a small field in Warburton, of course, I walked over. It was buzzing with loads of bees and also had a number of colourful butterflies, all enjoying the nectar. This was easily one of the most beautiful Rhododendrons I have ever come across, with its intricate design that looks a lot like leopard print.
I was having a great time taking pictures until I spotted a Tiger snake a few metres away slithering in the direction of the tree. My fight or flight reaction kicked in immediately, I tried to stay calm and slowly got out of there, carefully looking at the ground, in case there were more snakes around. Hyperventilating, I got into my car with my fully extended tripod haha.
Then I spotted a tourist, who had just got to his car. I told him about the snake, he wanted to see it (!!!) and he even took a photo of it (picture is above) – despite me telling him it was probably venomous. We got to talking and we ended up hanging out later and we had a quintessential Australian dinner of Fish n’ Chips by the Yarra river which was super nice.
I have been told by people when I was travelling solo in Europe that I was brave. But for me the hardest, scariest thing I do/have done is wandering alone with my camera in Australia, my own home country. I push myself outside of my comfort zone to visit places that I will probably enjoy but it comes with a risk that I will come across a tricky situations and that I will face alone. Australia can be a tough place full of crazy juxtapositions like this one – one minute it was all pretty flowers and butterflies… the next, deadly snake heading in my direction. It makes me miss places like Austria and Germany, where I could go for a hike in this type of weather and be completely carefree. Admittedly, I love my solitude time in nature despite the challenges at times and facing fears, it is always worth the risk. And who know who I will meet along the way on my solo adventures… :).
Pro Tip: Due to snakes being cold-blooded, they like to sunbathe to keep warm, so when the sun comes out so do they, especially in the warmer seasons like Spring and Summer and you must stay alert at all times when wandering around Victoria.
I will endeavour to learn more about safety around snakes as this is the second venomous snake I’ve encountered in 2 months (the first 2 in the wild I have ever seen in my life!!!) and perhaps I could make a blog post on that.