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Alice Springs snake catcher catches cracker lightning photo during evening storm

Tuesday December 7, 2021 - 06:26 AEDT
ABC image
Rex Neindorf says it was "sheer luck" that he captured this cracker photo, while releasing some snakes north of Alice Springs. - ABC

Recent rain has kept Alice Springs snake catcher Rex Neindorf busy, but his latest catch was something else.

A photo taken by Mr Neindorf shows a fork of lightning snaking across a stormy sky, behind the iconic 'Welcome to Alice Springs' sign on Monday evening.

He was intending to release some recently caught snakes when he managed to get the photo.

"I just went for a little bit of a drive north of town... and while I was there the lightning started coming in," he said.

'Sheer luck' and a good phone

There's been quite a few good opportunities for weather photography in Alice Springs recently. 

Last month was the town's wettest November on record, with a total of 218 millimetres smashing the previous 156mm record from 2008.

The biggest November daily rainfall total was also recorded on the 10th, the same day a man clung to a tree in a raging Todd River.

Mr Neindorf said there was a bit of luck involved in his storm photo, even with his lightning-quick reflexes as a snake catcher.

"I just stayed and waited at the welcome sign and, lucky enough, the lightning put on a really good show," he said.

He wasn't the only one with flashy photos, with social media inundated with shots of the storm on Tuesday morning.

Mr Neindorf said he was also lucky that phones have become much better as cameras.

"And this one turned out to be really, really good."

Calm before the ssstorm

Two months ago, Mr Neindorf said the region had become 'riddled with snakes' thanks to recent rain. 

And with even more since then, things haven't slowed down. 

"We did over 100 calls for October, we did about 100 calls for November," he said.

He said the rain last month had actually dampened snake activity for a time, but said it was going to get "even better" in the future.. Or worse if snakes aren't your thing.

"When you get a really good season the reptiles will be able to double clutch... they lay one clutch of eggs, there's then plenty of food around," he said.

"They can build their body weight back up, and then they're able to lay another clutch of eggs." 

"So that means in two, three, four years time we're going to have twice as many snakes running around than what we have now."


© ABC 2021

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