Sunday, January 31, 2010

A quick post.

First a thanks to everyone who commented the other day, it is good to hear from you.
“You’re doing OK, keep it up” is a message I can certainly live with.

Today was pretty hot, (about 38°C or 100°F in the old money). It was also really humid. So it was not at all surprising that the weather built into thunderstorms in the evening.

About 6:00 pm the most amazing black clouds began moving across from the west.

They the sky got so dark and the clouds were so ominous looking that I thought a couple of shots were worth posting.

This is looking diagonally across the road.

And this is looking directly across the road from our front door.

Now back briefly to my throw away statement about Aussie snake venom in my last post.

According to my nearest and dearest, I was telling you porkies.

She hopped on the website belonging to The University of Melbourne’s Australian Venom Research Unit.

According to their data, which I provide below, out of the 25 most poisonous snakes in the world, 1 through to 11 on the list are Aussie species. Further, a full 20 of the 25 are from Oz as well.

The information below is lifted from their site.

World's Most Venomous Snakes

Which snake species is the most venomous depends on the measure used. The average or the maximum venom yield from milking could be suggested, but these measures can be criticised as not reflecting the impact of a real bite. The measure generally acknowledged as best reflecting how dangerous a snake's venom is is that of LD50. The lower this number, the less venom is required to cause death. By that measure, the most venomous snake in the world is Australia's inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus). The table below gives the top 25 species in order, their LD50, and their distribution.

Snake Species LD50* Distribution
1. Inland taipan 0.025 Australia
2. Eastern brown snake 0.053 Australia
3. Coastal taipan 0.099 Australia
4. Tiger snake 0.118 Australia
5. Black tiger snake 0.131 Australia
6. Beaked sea snake 0.164 Australia
7. Black tiger snake (Chappell Island ssp.) 0.194 - 0.338 Australia
8. Death adder 0.400 Australia
9. Gwardar 0.473 Australia
10. Spotted brown snake 0.360 (in bovine serum albumin) Australia
11. Australian copperhead 0.560 Australia
12. Cobra 0.565 Asia
13. Dugite 0.660 Australia
14. Papuan black snake 1.09 New Guinea
15. Stephens' banded snake 1.36 Australia
16. Rough scaled snake 1.36 Australia
17. King cobra 1.80 Asia
18. Blue-bellied black snake 2.13 Australia
19. Collett's snake 2.38 Australia
20. Mulga snake 2.38 Australia
21. Red-bellied black snake 2.52 Australia
22. Small eyed snake 2.67 Australia
23. Eastern diamond-backed rattlesnake 11.4 North America
24. Black whipsnake >14.2 Australia
25. Fer-de-lance >27.8 South America

Here is their link if you want to check it out for yourselves.

So I suppose the moral of the story is: tread carefully in the Great South Land.


Lisa said...

When we get clouds like that here, we know we're in for it--torrential downpours, lightening, and maybe even tornadoes. Hope you at least got the rain!

Vikki said...

Your photographs are stunning!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Those are truly spectacular clouds. I DID NOT need to know how many nasty snakes lurk in your fair land. I'm shuddering all the way on the other side of the world. Nasty.

Al said...

Hi Lisa,
Clouds like that here usually mean heavy rain or hail. These ones gave us a bit or rain and heaps of lightning, dry storms are very dangerous at this time of year down here (bushfires). We call small tornadoes "Willi willis" (their Aboriginal name. For some reason if they are big enough to cause damage the media here call them "mini-tornadoes". If they destroy houses I don't see anything "mini" about them. Fortunately they don't often cause much damage because the mostly happen in our wide open spaces.

Hi Vikki,
Welcome to my blog.

Hi Elspeth,
Impressive clouds weren't they?
Sorry if I caused you any discomfort about our reptile neighbours.
An almost obligatory pass time in Oz is to scare foreign tourists about our deadly reptiles, spiders etc, I suppose this is an extension of this.
Fortunately, as I said in my previous post bites are rare except on people who mess with the poor creatures. Plus if someone does get bitten we have really good treatment regimes here in Oz.

Michele Emrath said...

Telling us "porkies," eh? How dare you!

Beautiful cloud! I love how you found beauty in something so dark and dangerous. I suppose the same could be said of the snake, though I didn't read that post. I am just a bit scared the 3rd most dangerous one is located near here--though it's name is a bit wimpy: eastern diamond-back rattlesnake. I'd be in awe of anything named "The Fer-de-lance" or "Death Adder."


Tiina said...

My goodness +38!! I have never, ever experienced such a hot temperature outside. I could trade some snow (lots and lots of it over here at the moment) for a few of those Centigrades! :)
I had no idea you have so many venomous snakes in Australia.
Thanks for visiting by blog!


Walk Talk Tours said...

Never mind the snakes Al, those clouds look menacing enough! Phil

Al said...

Hi Michele,
That's me my word just can't be trusted! :)

I thinks there is beauty to be found in the most unlooked for places. Snakes can be beautiful, Red-bellied black snakes hunting along river banks, glossy black in the sun with the vivid red strip where you see the edge of their belly. So lithe and graceful.
You can breathe one partial sigh of relief your Rattler is 23rd on the list.

Hi Tiina,
Thanks for dropping by and welcome.
We actually had 47°C here last February.

Hi Phil,
Those particular clouds were more bark than bite. Though they could have been worse, there was a lot of lightning, but probably just enough rain to suppress any risk of fires.

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