Tale of a snake and a mosaic

Once upon a time (in April 2005, to be exact) a large carpet snake appeared on our verandah, with a HUGE bulge in its middle. At first we thought it had eaten one of our chooks, but no … 4, 5, 6 … they were all there, so it must have been something else – maybe a possum, a bandicoot or a small wallaby.


It sat on the verandah, sunning itself, and stayed roughly in that area, quite lethargic and sluggish for some days. It was so fat, its scales were stretched apart, so you could see the skin between them.


Then we started the renovations of the old building, which had become its home. Our dog, Banjo, was quite curious about this new visitor, but the snake ignored him.


The snake ignored Colin, my partner, whose nickname, since long before I had met him, was “snake”.


The snake ignored Peter, our builder.


And we continued building around it, hammering, sawing and stepping over it. We pulled off the old verandah, put up new posts and new bearers, and there it remained, still with the big lump in its belly.


The renovations were finished, and the snake still hung around slowly digesting its meal, until finally it did a huge and long snake pooh – a mixture of fur and white chalky stuff – the bones of the digested animal.

The next year, our snake appeared from time to time, and was observed with caution.


From behind the safety of the garden enclosure!!


To honour our resident reptile, I decided to make a bench along the front of my new studio, and decorate the top of it with a mosaic of a diamond python, with a big bulge in its belly.

Another year passed. Just yesterday morning, I was going to my studio, to see what damage the week’s rain had caused, when I almost stepped on our friend, who had obviously been driven out of his winter hibernation by the wet. There he was, on the paving, just beside the python bench.


I ran and got my camera and rushed back to photograph the two snakes together, having removed the sodden carton which was full of my latest find of second-hand plates.


Weren’t they beautiful? The two snakes together at last!! What a wonderful thing that I had stumbled upon!! And now the snake was actually going up beside the bench and the little ceramic bug teapot my daughter Matilda had made at High School. Maybe the snake wanted to make friends with this giant bug!!


But that wasn’t the end of it!!! Then it turned around, and started slithering along the bench. Right on top of its mosaic mate!!! I couldn’t believe it!!


and then it disappeared into my mosaic studio, under a table…..



….but not REALLY “The End”, because the snake is still hanging around, and I have taken about 300 photos of it, and I’m sure there’ll be another chapter to this snake tale!!

In fact … here are 3 of the shots I took of it next morning. It is quite at home, sleeping in this box of old mugs. Would you call it a “mug shot of the snake”???

snake-in-mug-box-13.jpg  snake-in-mug-box-18.jpg

Look closely at the second picture. I must have woken it with the click of my camera!!

It is such a beautiful snake, I have really grown quite fond of it ….


But I must admit, I am keeping all the doors to my house firmly closed, as it is getting quite mobile now, as the weather is warming up. I don’t really want to find it in my bed tonight (one “Snake” in my bed is enough).


29 Responses to “Tale of a snake and a mosaic”

  1. Robyn Jay Says:

    very very cool Wendy! I once had a friend with a visiting python that had swallowed a paddymelon. Hung around for a few weeks to digest and then went on its way.

  2. Sean FitzGerald Says:

    What a great story! Thanks for setting back my fantasy of living on the North Coast several years! 😉

  3. Jo Kay Says:

    What a fabulous tale, Wendy! I can’t wait to hear the next chapter in your Snake Story! 😉

  4. Alex Miller Says:

    That is EXACTLY how I felt after dinner the other night!
    What great pictures and a great story…. and wow… the mosaic is gorgeous!

  5. Pamela Whitehead Says:

    Snakes alive! Aren’t we SO lucky to be sharing our immediate environment with so many native animals. Excellent photos and I love your snake mosaic. Also, I now know what to do with broken/unneeded ceramics.

  6. Luke Hodges Says:

    That’s an awesome story… I used to keep these things as pets, they really are amazing creatures. If it’s just come out of hibernation it will probably shed after it’s next feed so keep your eyes peeled for a souvenir 😛

  7. kimgrantmosaics Says:

    Fantastic pics of the snake beside, along and on top of your mosaic… Very cool! I admit to not being a huge fan of snakes but I do admire them… from afar!

  8. David Bloodwood Says:

    Wendy – what a fab-o story: Life meets Art meets Life!! That magical moment when the snake and the snake come together…

  9. Hazel Dray Says:

    I appreciate seeing your snakes Wendy, but from a distance will do!

  10. stiglice Says:

    It is a fantastic story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. hazankfia Says:

    Great story, marvellous mosaic, but even greater example of caring, wildlife-counscious people who welcome nature in all its forms!
    Way to go everybody!

  12. Faith Schexnayder Says:

    I must admit, this is a great story!
    I stumbled onto this in the mosaic year book, and clicked to read more.
    Fanstastic. I really want to hear more, and want to see the next installment. I think that this is really s kids story in the making!!!
    Id buy the book and read it to my children!
    Id be a little freaked out by it though!
    Faith Schexnayder

  13. Vivian Evans Says:

    Wow Wendy what a great story…. I am way behind the times checking it out almost 2 years later.

    Isn’t nature amazing and how clever were you to stumble on it when it was checking out your work of art!

    Have saved this page as a story…. I am glad your wikispace suggested that it was well worth the visit!

    Cheers Viv

  14. Julia Askew Says:

    Hi there, What a brilliant tale, and even better as i came across it by chance getting inspiration for my own snake mosaic I am about to start in a gap along my path, it is going to look quite like yours I think, well I hope as I am a bit of an amateur.

  15. Faith Schexnayder Says:

    It has been a year since I last wrote a comment. I am dieing to know if the snake friend is still around?
    Do you know what kind of snake it is?
    Im still serious about a kids story book idea!

  16. laura byres Says:

    Thanks for your homage to the snake. In my silly country most people would have killed it!

  17. Lynn Says:

    Beautiful snake and beautiful mosaic!

  18. Emma Says:

    ha ha hee hee

  19. Katia Says:

    Oh, I love your story. Thank you for sharing it!

  20. 2010 in review – not really very active blogger but hanging in … « what’s in a name? Says:

    […] The busiest day of the year was April 28th with 28 views. The most popular post that day was Tale of a snake and a mosaic. […]

  21. angad bhatia Says:

    really good n fantastic story i am photographer i like the pic of snakes

  22. plantas con flores Says:

    plantas con flores…

    […]Tale of a snake and a mosaic « what’s in a name?[…]…

  23. Dawn Says:

    Hey Wendy
    I so enjoyed your snake story – amazing!

  24. Dawn Muir Says:

    Hey Wendy
    I so enjoyed your snake story – amazing!

  25. Bill Anderson Says:

    Just read your snake story and really enjoyed it along with the great pictures. Thanks for sharing them and the story.

  26. Olga Polubotko Says:

    After reading the blog I was qurious to find this bench , and found it ! AND !! understood that in summer the snake was all around the place , quite close ! Wilderness around you !

  27. Co-Creative Health Solutions Says:

    Let’s keep this story alive. As one that also loves mosaics and produces them for friends and family, the snake with the snake on the bench was really neat. I’m not sure I would be as OK with a python around like that being that I didn’t grow up with a lot of reptiles where I am from. I have a frog phobia…probably need a psychiatrist:) However, it is a beautiful snake and I hope you had or are still having a great relationship. I’ve liked looking at the snake cuz I’m starting a new project..a Gothic mirror for my daughter in law. It was that theme or Voodoo so Gothic won out. I have snakes on four sides so I need snake inspiration. LOL Thanks!!

  28. Ross Macleay Says:

    Story-with-photos at its best. Life imitating art imitating life imitating art …

  29. Lydia Bezeruk Says:

    What a great story. I loved that he/she slithered across the snake mosaic bench. When was it last seen? And did you ever give it a name?

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