HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY! (March 17th)
The Myth and the Legend
Happy St Patrick’s Day to those of Irish descent and those who just love a good pint of Guinness.
What is St Patrick’s Day and what does it mean to us other than an opportunity to quaff a few bottles of Guinness? St Patrick’s Day is a religious ceremony celebrated on the 17th March each year commemorating the death of the patron saint of Ireland. St Patrick lived in the 5th century and is credited with converting the Irish to Christanity. Legend has it that St Patrick stood on a hill with his foot on a snake and banished all snakes from Ireland prompting all these serpents to slither into the sea never to return. Ireland is also called the Emerald Isle and part of the celebration is for people to wear shamrocks and green clothing.
Some may disagree with me but as a snake lover I would not want St Patrick to visit Swellendam but to add my touch to the celebration I have included a beautiful green snake. This harmless, gentle snake is found in and around Swellendam and it is a Western Natal Green Snake and is often killed by people confusing it with a Boomslang but if you are confused, just remember that we do not get green Boomslang in the Western Cape. Please note that snakes should never be handled as shown in my photo unless you are 100% sure of the correct ID and this has been confirmed by a snake expert. This particular snake was rescued after being found trapped on packaging plastic and was released at a safe site.
By Geoff Burgess
Geoff Burgess is one of our local snake catchers. Read the story of the baby snakes and other local snake rescues on his page Little Feat Alive
“The eggs had been unintentionally dug up the previous day when a compost heap was being removed and fortunately the gardeners carefully placed the eggs in a safe place….”