Palmiet Night Walk

A few Palmiet Rangers went on a night walk led by herpetologist snake catcher and all-round naturalist Nick Evans. And they saw good stuff:

Meantime I took some pics in my garden lately

And another of our naturalists, Suncana, was busy as ever, spotting new and fascinating things:

While Roger and Rory shot more birds:


This “emperor moth” from Cowies Hill wasn’t. Turns out iNaturalist says it’s a Giant Silkworm Moth. Genus Lobobunaea. Beauty!



Natalobatrachus bonebergi, the Natal diving frog, Boneberg’s frog, or Kloof frog, is a small- to medium-sized frog in the family Pyxicephalidae, endemic to South Africa. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and rivers. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Nick Evans found a new site where these beauties still cling to life as development lurks all around them. No ways I’ll say where it is.


Ignorance is Bliss

snake for nick ID (2)

Found this tiny snake in my pool weir. Immediately set off to find my net – I have a dark little net they often just crawl into for refuge, making catching them easy. I very seldom handle a snake. Besides caution, I really don’t want to injure them. Also, I suspected this one may have been injured. Dropped into the pool by a kingfisher maybe, I was thinking.

But – frustration and disorganisation – I couldn’t find my net or anything else to scoop it up with, and the bowl I wanted to use to take pictures in didn’t fit into the weir. So – convinced it was some kind of worm snake – I reached in and lifted it gently and placed it in the bowl.

Took pics and sent them to Nick Evans, Westville’s herpetologist extraordinaire.


Ooh!  Confession time: Actually Nick, I did handle it!

So then he sent this:


Weirdly, I had read up on the stiletto snake this very week and noted that: “This snake cannot be held safely and you will, in all likelihood, get bitten if you attempt to hold one.”

But at average length 40cm and the fact that the stiletto “is an irascible snake that bites readily” and my little snake was so docile, I “knew” my snake was harmless!

Lesson learnt!

Stiletto snake Marais

Here can be seen how the stiletto snake can bend its neck and how a tiny side-swipe could allow a fang to prick you. Thanks Johan Marais (see his site and here).

Stiletto snake Marais_fangs
thanks Johan Marais


postscript: When Tommy read this he grin-snorted: “Very caucasian to be handling a venomous snake, Dad, very caucasian.”

Steve Reed: That oke is a hoot! Sensahuma second to none.


Another stiletto-ignorant fella wasn’t so lucky:

– with thanks to Johan Marais’ very informative newsletters –