[LMB] Australia (was Take care, everyone) .. redbacks >> Bill Brysons comments on deadly Australia

Leanne Martin leanne_martinau at yahoo.com.au
Sat Jan 1 14:11:50 GMT 2011

Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: Australia (was Take care, everyone) .. redbacks

>>  Bill Brysons comments on deadly Australia

Hi All,
I am prompted by LucyC's missive on our Redback spider (currently spreading into 
New Zealand and Japan thanks to our shoddy export practices). I, too, have had 
no trouble finding them inside and outside of houses - anyone in Oz who can't 
find one within a few minutes just isn't looking. I recall when I lived in 
Melbourne a few decades ago there were the famous photos of a redback killing a 
brown snake (one of those 10 deadliest snakes in the world) under a suburban 
house. I know the snake  experts deny Tiger snakes do this but when I lived in 
Tasmania I was chased by one.... 

Near the bottom of this page there are images of redbacks being attacked by the 
'Daddy Long Legs' spiders. This is why I always leave several DLL nests up 
around my place when I am cleaning. I saw one kill a huntsman in my bathroom one 
day - died in about two minutes after their tussle- I was amazed!

For those of you   have not Bill Bryson's book of his travels to Australia I can 
highly recommend it. He had me in stitches when he was relating his regaling of 
others as to how dangerous Australia, its land animals, plants, fish and weather 
are. To Quote a review of DOWN UNDER (here) / A SUNBURNT COUNTRY (not here):  
"Bryson's latest travelog takes him to Australia, which, he blithely points out, 
has "more things that will kill you than anywhere else." Such lethal 
"attractions" include ten snakes with the deadliest venom in the world, 
poisonous spiders, lethal seashells, toxic plants, hazardous ocean riptides, 
sharks, and box jellyfish that can effectively end the beach season. ...His 
unrelenting insistence that Australia is the most dangerous place on earth ("If 
you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be 
fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by 
irresistible currents, or left to stagger to  an unhappy death in the baking 
outback") spins off dozens of tales involving jellyfish, spiders and the world's 
10 most poisonous snakes." <<  I don't think Bryson has been to Africa yet...>>

Also, for the doubting Thomases out there I can Recommend this book:

"In this wholly revised edition of the bestselling Venomous Creatures of 
Australia, Sutherland, Struan/ Sutherland, John have included the latest 
information available on our venomous creatures and the proper treatments for 
their bites and stings. From stonefish to jellyfish and tiger snakes to stinging 
ants, this book covers sixty of the most dangerous Australian terrestrial and 
marine animals. Every first aid kit - in the home, on the farm, in the bush, at 
the beach, or on the boat - should include a copy of this indispensable and 
potentially life-saving guide."

PLEASE NOTE: The above book only covers the sixty MOST venemous creatures here.

Cheers from down under, come on all you tourists "Where the bloody hell are?

To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold."
    <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
> Oh no, redbacks are nice. They're small and they live outdoors. And, since I
> am a terrible city-dweller and hardly ever venture outdoors, that's OK with
> me :)

You just have to watch where you put your  fingers every time you pick something 
up outside. Redbacks love living in human artifacts like kids toys, under the 
rims of flowerpots, and the like. I _always_ knock out my gardening gloves 
before putting them on. My kids find them periodically and call me to get rid of 
them (they found one in their swimming pool last summer). I  found some in the 
kitchen cupboard once and now I never clean it out without a shoe in easy reach 
in case another one turns up. Oh... and one turned up under the kids bed a few 
years back.

I had a friend who said he'd never seen a redback... I found one for him within 
5 minutes.

At least they squish easily.




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