Encounters with reptiles


Ever since seeing that sign about snakes on the rail trail I’ve been a little paranoid. Every little stick or piece of bark on the side of the trail takes on huge importance, as my eyes scan the road ahead looking for reptiles. So far, I’ve been lucky and not seen any legless creatures.

Today I spotted a “thing” in the distance that looked suspiciously like a snake. It was moving across the path, about 200 metres ahead of me.

I slowed down and got ready to do a bit of foot stomping (snakes are deaf but they feel vibrations), only to discover it wasn’t a snake but a giant, fat, blue-tongued lizard.

By the time I’d got the camera phone out he’d moved off the path and was heading into the undergrowth on the side of the trail. The picture fails to give you any sense of scale, but I’d estimate the lizard was about two-foot long.

About 20 minutes later I came across another lizard, of a similar size, who stopped in the middle of the trail, clocked I was just a few metres away, did a complete about-face and headed back into the reed-filled verge. It all happened so quickly the only photograph I could manage was a blur of gravel!

Fortunately, blue-tongued lizards are harmless. They get the name from their tongue, which is blue.


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