Dec 16, 2022
My son took me by scooter yesterday afternoon on a very steep and winding road high up into the dark and misty-topped jungley mountains of Son Tra. It was absolutely wonderful with blue sky and sunshine for much of it. I got lots of photos and videos of wild Macaque monkeys which I will post later, but meanwhile these photos are of a spot near the bottom of the mountain where we stopped for a bit to listen and watch for birds as it is a very grassy area right by the ocean where many nest.
Image: Tall whispering sea swept grasses. 😍
The very tall and windswept grasses, many as tall or even taller as stalks of corn, were so varied in colour and species and very beautiful, and we saw a few birds flying past and heard many more, as well as crickets and other peeping and trilling creatures from within the grasses. It was getting to be dusk and most were already hunkered down for the night we suspected.
Images: Those mountains in the distance are all still mostly uninhabited by humans... in fact I'm very happy to learn that they are now a part of a large and protected national park. 🙏🙏🙏
We had 3 rather large dragonflies at one point that zipped all around our ankles in a little area where the path widens where we had stopped to take it all in, but much too quickly for me to capture them in a photo. I saw a gorgeous dark almost burnt orange colouring on their bodies but couldn't make out anymore of their colourings and markings as they were far too fast and never stopped or even slowed down once. They were on a mission of catching whatever teeny insects we were probably stirring up in the dust of the path. We also sadly saw a dead snake...squashed earlier by wheels of another scooter as this path is used quite frequently by locals to reach the ocean, maybe for fishing and/or just for the beautiful view and the peace and quiet from the city which you can see in the distance across the bay.
Image: A little shrine for fishermen
As it is a rather narrow path and quite rocky and rough in spots my son had let me off at beginning of it so I could walk in because too much weight on the scooter meant it would scrape and possibly damage the bike. He went ahead with me in flip-flops following, a little nervous because this large thick grassy swathe was definitely snake territory. And that's just what I was thinking when I saw the poor squashed snake laying in the middle of the path ahead....a fairly small and thin dark green backed snake but with a vibrant lime green underside. It's head was gone...by some hungry critters no doubt...so hard to identify exactly which kind it was by Google when we tried to do so later. We think it was some kind of viper though, and so possibly venomous. Even though it was obviously dead I was too afraid to stop and take a pic as all I could think was "SNAKE CROSSING"...*gulp*, I may be at a snake crossing???! 😬...and so I took a very large step over it and quickened my pace feeling a little panicked, but with eyes focused intently on the ground in front of me, to catch up with my son who I couldn't see but knew was waiting just a few bends ahead on the scooter.
Hahaha! Damn it all that I had went and read so much about venomous snakes of Vietnam the last time I was here because I've been rather freaked of encountering one here since then, despite the fact that they are apparently not aggressive and are actually quite shy. They are not going to stalk or even lash out at you for no reason...but stilllll....there's always that fear of making the headlines in the news as "First time an unprovoked venomous snake has attacked tourist in Vietnam", lol. 😱😅
Image: Where the path forks. We didn't go any further though. Another day perhaps. But this time I'll wear sneakers and thick jeans, and carry a big stick for thumping on the ground to scare away snakes.😅 To the left in photo you can just see tops of high buildings in the city across the bay.