How times have changed.
Snake story one: I'm jogging along the concrete track beside the creek at dusk when I see another jogger coming my way with a crazy uncoordinated gait, arms flapping and shining one of those blue-white LED torches at me. (I got a half busted red bicycle light flashing n my hand, so the lycra Caddell-Evans-wannabes don't mow me down).
He's a bit freaked out apparently because he just saw a snake on the concrete bike/walk track. I'm surprised by his reaction. This is a bushy section with dense stands of mature eucalyptus (gum) trees, a creek and the nearest habitation is a good 300 meters away. I tell him "yeah, I see them around here all the time. Thanks for the warning" and keep going. All of asudden, all I can think about is snakes and I'm on hyper-alert, gingerly navigating every large crack and every small gnarly branch on the darkening track lest it be a snake.
Snake Story Two - I'm visiting Nana Brine at her beachside abode. We've seen lots of big fat red bellied black snakes on the concrete track she talked the council into building - the one that curls from the esplanade to the beach, between two multi-million dollar houses.
She's nearly 90 and tells me about when she was a young girl living near a mangrove shrouded creek, there used to be a lot of snakes, so her father would kill them with an axe and then hang them on the fence. I'd love to know why, but she doesn't remember that part.
Maybe next visit.