This afternoon I had my first unplanned encounter with one of the most notorious and widely feared Australian creatures: an Australian spider.
I was hanging out the laundry: hang, peg, hang, peg, as you do, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a glistening spider’s web at the end of the washing line. I froze and scanned my surrounding area. To my horror it’s proprietor was lurking at the end of the line, watching me, imagining my exotic tastie and about to bite me and kill me...maybe.
This didn't sound much fun to me, so although he didn’t actually look like one of the nasties, I hung all the washing at the far end of the line like a big wimp and left him to his lurking, hoping he would go away, which now it seems, he has.
My brief encounter got me thinking about the concept of Australia’s dangerous wildlife. Some of Australia’s wildlife is indeed, the most venemous in the world, but how often does the average Aussie find them self munched by a funnelweb or taken by a taipan?
Not as often as those naughty Aussies would have us believe, not in my experience anyway. I love the Australian sense of humour though. Take a look at this video, which I find hilarious. I first saw it before arriving in Australia and I think it sums up nicely what the world believes to be true of Australia’s wildlife.
In the past six months, granted I have mostly been in urban areas, but I have also spent time on a farm in Queensland and paid a visit to the outback as well as doing a bit of bush-walking in Northern National Parks, so I would say that I have given the deadly critters plenty of opportunity to 'welcome' me. They haven’t, and of that I am glad.
Maybe I have just been lucky, or maybe the Aussies want the rest of the world to believe that life really here is a daily struggle to survive. What do you think?
Image credit - http://www.gettingdownunder.com/2008/09/02/the-aussie-immigration-map/