and Conservation of the Agasthyamalai region, Western Ghats, India.
What would one associate with the phrase “Cat on a hot tin roof” ? - Restlessness, hopping, jumping etc – I bet it’s the same for the phrase “snake beneath the cold thin roof”, particularly if you find yourself sitting under it!
Little over two months ago, Chetan, Ganesh and I found ourselves in one such situation. The famed dilapidated bungalow, known to have housed Somerset Maugham and others, can be found nestling amidst thick evergreen forests and an abandoned tea estate in Nettrikkal. Eventually, this was our make shift camp for a three day stay in the forest while accompanying Chetan who was conducting regeneration studies in these forests. A cold night had set upon us and we were stuffed into our sleeping bags when I spotted this sparkling yellow snake moving under the roof. A morale boosting assurance from Ganesh led us into a few brave minutes of trying to sleep under this dangling-darling, but, our good old associations with the snake crept in and we found ourselves scampering for safety and later re-located the snake a short distance, about twenty feet away in some bushes. Sanity was restored for the rest of the night, except for the chilling winds. Then came the next cold evening and our thoughts were of course on the grand dinner we were all waiting for but also in the back ground the snake making another appearance was not that far away. What happened? Pl see the next issue!