No, thankfully, we had not seen a snake. His mother is one of the very elderly people who lives alone in this district. He lives in another state and teaches at a university there.
I keep an eye on his mother, a fact of which he is well aware. She is still well able to look after herself but I post the occasional letter or pick up the occasional prescription at the chemist. It is no bother.
He came to have a look at our garden at his mother's request. Like him she knows rather a lot about wildlife. When she tells me something about wildlife I listen because she knows more than I do about such things.
Snakes were once found in the Adelaide Hills and the outer suburbs. Now they are found throughout the metropolitan area. They came in search of food during the drought and they have remained. It is up to us to learn to live with them - and do what we can to lessen the potential harm.
My father is too old to do the heavy gardening work now. As it is his garden and his hobby I have never liked to interfere but this is different. We have someone who comes to help for two hours once a fortnight. He does more in two hours than my father can now do in two weeks. Without this gem of a man, a member of the church my father attends, we would not be able to keep the garden even vaguely tidy.
I have for some time now been suggesting that we ask him to clear some of the "undergrowth" along the fences. Dad has hesitated. There have been other things that needed to be done - like getting the netting over the fruit trees, pruning in high places, clearing the gutters etc. Yes, it has all been important.
Yesterday "the snake man" said that the clearing needed to be done. It is a snake trap. My father went quite pale as he was told this. We have "brown snakes". They are some of the most poisonous snakes in the world, a bite from even a very young snake can kill. An adult has enough venom to kill at least several dozen people, if not more. They can move incredibly rapidly and they can climb anywhere...yes, snakes can climb. I told the snake man, "Snakes scare me." He said, "Yes, they should. They are very, very dangerous."
So we are going to ask our gardening friend to do some extra clearing. It will reduce the potential resting places for snakes. We are also going to remind him to be very, very cautious as he does it.