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Perspectives, Issue #009-- Snakes Alive!
March 04, 2009

"Perspectives" - Snakes alive!

Snakes Alive!

I have seen quite a few snakes lately – rather large ones, too. They seem to be tree snakes – various hues of green and brown, then a “yellow bellied black snake”, all of them six or seven feet long; an amethyst python, as fat as my arm, stretches ten feet across the road at night. They all seem to be minding their own business, but I have to watch my step as they are practically invisible in the grass and flower-beds.

I have always been aware, anywhere in Australia really, apart from in cities, of the need to keep paths clear and to be watchful for their likely presence. The worrisome ones here, in Far North Queensland, for me, are death adders and taipans.

The latter can be quite aggressive and the death adders – well, apparently they lie quite still, not slithering away as do most snakes. Their habit is to just raise the end of their tail a little and waggle it so that small animals come to investigate – then – bingo! All over, Red Rover! I have never seen one here but am assured that, living on the beach as we do, this is their natural habitat.

Low Isles

One reason that I like going to Low Isles is that there are no snakes and I can walk around without looking where I place my feet!

Lee Walters is a frequent Low Isles voluntary caretaker. She sent in this haiku recently -

Low Isles Sunrise
Morning sun, green seas,
Five turtles calmly gliding.
And then! Small grey shark.

I didn’t set out to write to you about snakes and Lee’s haiku is a nice antidote for all that scary stuff. It conveys the feeling of beauty and peaceful oneness with nature, don’t you think?

In the evenings, on the island, turtles quite often come really close to the beach and in the lagoon there are turtle residents who are quite used to human visitors swimming close by and photographing them.

For most of us it’s a “no-no” to actually touch a turtle but a few months ago, a number were slaughtered by indigenous, traditional owners, who are permitted to hunt in waters anywhere along this coast. The trusting turtles would have made easy targets!

Cultural Policy in FNQ

A cultural plan is being developed for the Cairns region, with input having been invited from residents and art groups. If anyone would like a copy of the draft plan, please let me know and I shall email it to you.

Cairns, Port Douglas, Daintree and the Tablelands seem to be a magnet for artists. The attraction is probably the region’s beauty, combined with a relaxed life-style, both conducive to the making of art, whether that be the visual, written, music or performing arts.

Have a look at this page to see how the region has attracted high profile artists in the past. So far the page has no illustrations but I am hoping to be able to obtain permission to use images of paintings owned by Cairns Regional Gallery and Townsville's Perc Tucker Gallery.

Your Pages

The Art Events page is being well used, so if you want to know what’s on in the region, please visit

People still seem shy about showing off their recent artwork – come on – share!

Upload your children’s art?

An article, provocative if you like…

Some great photos here

On the subject of interactivity, if anyone is interested in the Port Douglas Waterfront plan, the deadline for comments has been extended to March 20. The plan may be accessed here -

Your say

What would you like me to include on the Art in Tropical Australia site? Please fill in the contact form here for any sort of feed-back at all.

Best wishes


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