My Favourite Thai Snake.

cropped-055.jpgSo, what better way to start my new blog, than with  the species of snake that I see the most here in Thailand; the Ornate Tree Snake (Chrysopelea ornata). I love these snakes, I love them for their beautiful green, yellow and black markings. I love their inquisitive personalities and the fact that i seem to spot them everywhere i go.

When you’re lucky enough to spot them, they raise up their heads and bodies up as if they’re pretending to be a cobra. An impressive facade considering their super slender bodies and their distinct lack of any hood. I seen them when i’m out in my garden, out and about on the weekends. Possibly my favourite way to spot them is when i hear a rustling sound followed by a tiny thud which happens when they propel themselves off a building or out of a tree.

You see, the cool thing about these guys is their ability to glide. They are able to launch themselves out of trees and off of buildings.Then, by flattening their ribs and undulating their bodies they’re able to glide, and even steer themselves impressive distances to their next location.A video showing them glide

One day, I had the privilege of being  underneath a juvenile as it launched itself off a roof  and landed right in front of me. Understandably distressed by escaping one danger only to land right next to a towering human, it panicked and slithered into a small gap in the back of my shoe! Now I faced a real dilemma, I couldn’t move for fear of hurting the snake and despite them being non-venomous I didn’t want to stick my fingers into the small gap to try and coax it out. As this would probably result in a few bites. Luckily after some careful wiggling and shuffling he decided to come out of my shoe. It was nice enough after that to allow me to pick it up and snap some photos of it before i released it into a nearby mango tree. This is why I love living in Thailand, when you least expect it you’ll see the most amazing wildlife.

Another fond memory i have is of working in my greenhouse one day when i heard a commotion up in the trees behind me. Suddenly the commotion had moved out of the trees and into the leaves and the grass near my greenhouse and it was coming my way. I stopped what I was doing to have a look and there in the grass an inquisitive head with two black eyes watching my every move rises up followed by slender green, yellow and black body. It watched me for a while, assessing just how much of a threat i really was. It deciding to make a run for the trees and risk whatever it had tried to escape from in the first place than to stay near me. As quickly as it had appeared it had slithered back into the trees and i watched the last few inches of its tail disappear into the trees.

That’s why I love these snakes, it’s not just that I see them a lot but it’s that each time I see them it’s usually only a brief encounter that leaves me wishing i’d seen them for longer and looking forward to the next time I see one.

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