Botanic Gardens - Flowers and (deadly)Critters

dfinney
dfinney @dfinney21 days ago · 5 min read

Yesterday we visited the Australian National Botanic Garden in Canberra, Australia’s capital city.

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Views of Telstra Tower amidst the gums and bottle brush.

The botanic garden is located at the base of Black Mountain. Opened in 1970, the garden contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of native Australian flora. 75,000 individual plants are displayed within eight different thematically different sub gardens.

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No idea of this plant’s name, but it was as tall as two people!

As I mentioned earlier the garden is divided into eight areas. A main 1.8km trail wanders through each. There are also various side paths to explore. The eight areas of the garden include:

  • Daisy Garden
  • Eucalypt Lawn
  • Paperbark treehouse and garden
  • Proteaceae displays
  • Rainforest Gully
  • Red Center Garden
  • Rock Garden
  • Sydney Region Gully

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Australian flora

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Waratah, State flower of New South Wales.

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Banksia

Flowers and trees were not all we saw in the garden. There were also CRITTERS!!! What sort of critters might you expect to see in an Australian garden? Well, let me show you.

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First we saw an adorable family of ducks.

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The garden was also filled with awesome lizards!


But, WTF is this?!!!

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Snake warning?!!!

Before I go on, let me share a little back story. The first time I came to Australia was 1999. I lived here for five years starting in 2002 and have visited every couple of years since moving back to the states. Americans like to think Australia is crawling with deadly creatures. Deadly spiders, sharks, jellyfish, crocodiles and snakes can all be found here. However, in all of my time in Australia I HAD NEVER SEEN any of these creatures... until yesterday!!!! 😳

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We were walking through the Red Center garden when we spotted snake warning signs. It was a warm sunny day. Perfect for snakes to be soaking up some rays. I kept my eyes on the sand and pavement as we walked deeper into the garden. To be honest, all this looking at the ground was distracting me from enjoying the plants.

As we walked my husband says, “They won’t be on the footpath. If you see one it would probably be on the rocks.” I wouldn’t say he is some snake expert, but his words lulled me a little as we weren’t currently near rocks.

We proceeded deeper into the garden (which was basically a cement path through red sand and scattered desert flowers). Near the back of the garden there were steps. These took us up to a raised metal bridge. From there we would have an elevated view of the garden on one side and behind us was a ROCK wall.

We went up the steps...


I gazed out at the garden behind us...

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I took a mediocre selfie....

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Then hubs says, “Oh shit 💩 snake!”

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The Eastern Brown Snake

We both stopped in our tracks not really knowing what to do. (PS - This happened to us once with a dingo too, but I will save that for another day.) The snake was motionless, though it’s head was definitely facing our direction. We stood still debating our next steps, and of course took photos like true idiot tourists. Hubs says we can just walk past it. For some reason back tracking our steps out of the garden was never mentioned. So, after a couple minutes we edged past the snake along the raised path. And WE SURVIVED!!! 😂🤣🤣

But get this:

The (the eastern brown snake) is the most venomous snake in the world. Just 1/14,000 of an ounce of the venom will kill an adult. Talk about scary. But there is some good news: they prefer not to bite. And only half of bites have venom, so you have a 50/50 chance of not dying a slow and painful death if bitten. What’s odd is that this snake seems to have a temperament all its own. If you happen to catch an eastern brown snake on a bad day, they will repeatedly strike and may even chase after you. Even the small, young members of this species have enough venom to kill. While this may seem crazy, if you come across this snake, stay very still. The eastern brown snake will only react to movement, so a person that is very still will have the best chance of survival. But if you do happen to get bitten by one of these snakes, the venom contains:

  • Neurotoxins
  • Blood coagulants

What does this mean? The snake’s venom will cause your blood to clot and will also impact your nervous system, causing you to lose function and movement of your limbs. Source

Well, it’s not every day you face death in a botanic garden. 🤔

After our encounter with the snake, I tried to find some sort of employee to report the situation. However, there was no one to be found. So we headed through the the tropical rainforest gully before hitting up the gift shop and heading home. Happy to have survived our visit to the garden. 😃


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WOW... this is sooo much my kind of thing... Garden, flowers 😍 I wish I was there... Well except for that 🐍 not exactly my most comfteble wiew.. Lol

Your pictures are absolutly amazing my friend and I bet it was a Great experience... The flowers are beautiful and so colorful 😉 love it so much.
The envirement looks incredleble and I love your selfie girl 😍 beautiful... After that... Did you scream seing that snake?

Thank you for sharing this and making me smile 😊 loved it so much.
Have a wonderful weekend and much love to You 🤗💋❤️

@alliedforces curate


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney20 days ago

Ha ha. I didn’t scream at the snake. Just sort of stood there staring like a big dummy trying to decide if we were going to walk past. The gardens are gorgeous. Australia had so many unique and beautiful flowers. I wish I had brought my good camera too. There were all kinds of parrots in the trees, but all too high to capture with my cell phone.


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Well until I got to the smake and the story I thought what beautiful gardens, I know I would never get my wife there LOL

but other than that looks like such a beautiful place for a walk


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney20 days ago

It’s funny, I have been to this garden quite a few times.... but I suppose it was winter during my last visit. Even with the signs around I never thought we would actually see a snake! I might have walked right by if my husband hadn’t spotted the thing.


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Well I guess it is good your husband was observant ;)


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney20 days ago

That is exactly how it went down. 🤣😂


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Loved the pics and the story, and so glad this one had a happy ending!


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney20 days ago

Me too! 😂🤣 It’s funny I was at the same time thrilled and very NOT thrilled to see the snake. Since everything turned out well it makes a good story. 😃


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ryivhnn
ryivhnn @ryivhnn20 days ago

I hope you didn't pass it too closely! D: Sometimes they'll slither away quietly before you even see them if you make enough noise on your approach but yeh generally you probably want to give them a wide berth XD

Was the temperature all right? It looks like it might have been hot but hard to tell when the ground is red XD


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney20 days ago

We were too close when we passed the thing. Only the width of the footpath. It was probably 25C/77F. It seemed pretty relaxed up on the rock, but the more I think about it now (and after reading more on the internet) we were sooooooo dumb not to just back away.

My father in law wants to take us bush walking over the we weekend. There is a spot near here where he says we will see echidnas and bettongs and of course kangaroos. But now I just keep thinking... there are gonna be snakes too!


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ryivhnn
ryivhnn @ryivhnn19 days ago

That's far enough in an emergency if you absolutely have to pass the thing but you definitely wanted to be much further away for a casual encounter XD

Go bush walking, it'llbe great, just make sure you have a heavy footfall as most of them should quietly slither away from you as you're approaching, and try not to step anywhere you can't see the ground clearly XD

Alternately visit in winter next time and do all of the bushwalking when the snakes are sleeping XD


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney18 days ago

🤣😂 winter.... I like the sounds of this! 😁


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I know South African's who moved there about fifteen years ago and they love the region. So glad I found your post it's given me an idea of the city and gorgeous plants over there.

My goodness some of the flowers do grow tall, my favourite photo is the Banksia.

Photography along with story nicely presented, yes people think the critters are waiting to attack. In reality you just saw a snake sunbathing... until you realized after the fact how poisonous it really is, lovely that you managed a photo of that to add to your "Good, Bad and Ugly" photography LOL.


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney18 days ago

I feel like there is a lot of immigration between Australia and South Africa. Similar climate maybe.... the comfort of having winter and summer in the same months as at home. I know A lot of South African plants thrive in Australia.

Yeah the snake seemed pretty relaxed. Just glad the seeming was the reality! 😄

Have a wonderful day! Looks like you are in South Africa? It is on my bucket list of places to visit!


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Yup I am in SA, well worthwhile visiting one day, pretty big so you will have to plan on which region you want to see. Have an awesome day!


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@tipu curate


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney20 days ago

Thank you @anli 🤗


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How I missed this post, I dunno 😳! I was just saying: How high up are those flowers from the first photo. Only giants and giraffes will be able to gaze at them from the top, lol, unless of course if one has a tall step ladder. Beautiful and unique flowers. YIKES... a brown snake on the lose??!!! Oh my goodness! Hahaha, that would certainly make me scream! 😱😱😱
Thanks for bringing us along with you in your travels, dearest @dfinney! I thoroughly enjoy reading your articles. I know that you will have a fantastic wee! Be safe and take care 🥰🌺🤙


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dfinney
dfinney @dfinney18 days ago

We are seeing all kinds of creatures this trip. Snakes, rainbow lorikeets, sea lions, echidnas. I kind of love it.

Hope your week has started off great! 🤗 💕


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