Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Halt who goes there?!

The second day of cloud and potentially a rain filled day. As soon as the humidity drops the place comes alive and the birds were out in force. I took to the Capuchin trails with Becca but we could not hear a mouse let alone chattering monkeys so we moved down to the other end of the Atlantic Forest. The previous day Becca, Jorge and a forest guard had cleared some existing trails. This sounded like good news but we didn’t expect one of the trails to now have a century on guard as we entered it!
This was as close as a near miss gets with the serpant hissing and rattling its tail as Becca stepped onto the trail with me close behind. “Passsswoord pleassse!” the Rattlesnake hissed. For a generally non aggressive species we had obviously kicked over its breakfast or worse! Becca shouted leaping back into me then stopped!  My first thought was wasps nest (She does not like wasps!) then I thought spider. I stepped up to the plate hearing the rattling tail, Becca was now still I am not sure why!... but I grabbed her and pulled her well away from the snakes striking range! The Rattlesnake having seen us retreat stood its ground coiled in the middle of the path ready to strike!! Becca phoned Helen who is known to the local people as “La Bruja serpenteo!” to come and capture the snake and take it away from the road where it would certainly get run over.
Whilst I was waiting I took the opportunity to take some pictures and then handed my camera over to Becca who had clearly forgotten the password creating the problem in the first place!! This Rattler was not a happy soul and still protested that the path was his! Not even a bit of paparazzi type fame was going to change this snakes mind! Helen arrived soon after and with her snake “machine” put the grumpy serpant into a bag and took it back to base where it was later released in a slightly better mood than when we had first met.

Next stop for me was a 4K “paddle” with Sean out to his gill nets one of which had caught a larger than life Piranha. This fish had a rather evil set of gnashers which would cause injury to any digit put in its way. Sean is out checking his nets several times a day and tomorrow I would be joining him at even stupider o’clock to carry out this task. A picture will follow when the fish has been processed!

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