My photo
I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Friday, November 19, 2010

An Australian Tradition

Long, long ago when I was a child, it was common to see dead snakes draped over fences.  My dad told me it was to serve as a warning to other snakes and I believed him.  

Now that I am older and more cynical I think it probably had a lot more to do with the status of the big, brave snake slayer. A bit like notches on a gun stock or on a bed-head. 

There is a place on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne called 'Foxy's Hang Out'.  There used to be a big, old, dead tree at a fork in the road.  Dead foxes, in various stages of decomposition, were often hung up for display on the tree and nearby fences. 

Now we are, quite rightly, discouraged from killing snakes as they play an important role in the eco-system.  Foxes, feral in Australia, are still hunted, baited, shot and generally not tolerated.  However, I haven't seen any hanging about on trees for years.

As the killer of possibly hundreds of snails I decided to pay homage to this old Australian custom. 

I don't believe the snails will take any notice and stay away from my veggies and I don't feel particularly proud of the massacre I have committed.  Maybe it is really a homage to the tenacity of snails and the beauty of their shells with the light shining through.

I am thinking about what I could do, artistically speaking, with snail shells...I can feel my creative juices rising.


  1. Now that's creative recycling, I'll be interested to see the results!
    Round here snakes are well protected and respected.We have brown snakes and the red-bellied black, a milder less venomous chap.They have their place, up to us to work round them.

  2. Oh Hazel, you just crack me up!!!! You are the funniest craziest gardener I have ever found in blogworld and I celebrate your love of life and the laughter it creates. I am sure the snails will steer clear of your neck of the woods from now on.

  3. This is the 2nd time I've checked and it is another post on snails! I am hoping you are having fun because I laughed out loud when reading the post. Love the photo. Good luck with the snail problem.

  4. LOL I like it!

    Thanks for making me smile this morning.

  5. Love your snail fence Hazel. Have you tried the good old Aussie snail remedy of leaving shallow dishes of beer out for them? Don't know if it works but I've been told they die happy.

  6. Perhaps you can entice the snake that lives in the shed to eat the snails!

  7. Hazel, have you considered whether those snails might be edible??? If so, your views on the Food Chain would be vindicated!

  8. Went past Foxy's Hangout on Saturday, there were signs hanging in the tree but I didn't notice if there were any dead foxes.


Thanks for visiting. I love messages so write as much or as little as your want.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...