Sunday, 24 January 2010

Close Encounters

I had an interesting start today to my foray into a forest trail early in the morning.  

I was walking at a slow and easy pace towards the start of a trail and as usual was keeping an eye out for dragonflies and damselflies along the way.  As I turned a corner, out of the blue, I decided to stop suddenly to check for my handphone - perhaps to check the service coverage, perhaps the time, or just to make sure I've got my phone with me and am not low on battery?  

I am not sure why.

Anyway, at about the same time as I stopped and looked at my phone, I heard a loud screeching sound just overhead and my natural reaction was to look up to see what is going on.  There were two Dusky Leaf Langgurs scrambling away on a tree just a few meters above me and one of them was screaming away making the screeching noises but they were not looking at me.  At that same split second, I saw a movement at the corner of my eye and turned to look down towards my right and discovered what the Langgurs were looking at and the cause of their screeching warning, distress calls.

A snake! 

I must admit I froze on instinct.  Whoa!  And in that instant, my mind went "Wow!"  

Then it was one of those moments when I felt I didn't have enough hands to not drop the phone and still get the camera to shoot and I couldn't be quick enough to juggle everything on my hands, and I was scrambling to get all that done while trying not to make too much movements so... as you can guess, I didn't get any photos!  All I have are the "Kodak moments" in my mind's eye.

The snake slithered away rather swiftly and really smoothly.

I did not see the head of the snake to start with but it was moving away from me into the edge of the forest and it was certainly a long snake.  Perhaps 2.2m in length, at least?  And beautiful too!  The colour was like a sandy, light brown colour, no markings or any patterns at all.  

My guess?  Quite likely a cobra!

With most wildlife, including snakes, they will usually move or slither away when they hear people approaching in the forest.  Unless threatened, cornered, sprung upon in surprise or you have stumbled into a nesting area, then that is when they may get aggressive or even attack as that is their instinct for survival!  

Or if you were the targeted meal!

Anyway, that was my close encounter with wildlife this morning though not my first encounter with cobras.  My walk in the forest after that turned out great with more close encounters with dragonflies and damselflies!

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