A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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"Never Say Never"

"Lyndon"  a number of my guests say attracting my attention while walking to the wine presses.

"Do you get snakes on Symi?". I'm always careful in answering this question just in case one of our walkers has a phobia about creepy crawly things. There are eleven of us today and after all we are in a wood in the middle of  a Greek island some distance away from habitation. A quick glance around to scan peoples reaction to this question leads me to believe that everybody here seems reasonably comfortable with a cautious answer.

"Yes". I reply "some six or seven species".

"Are there any poisonous ones?" a guest asks.

"Just the one, the ottoman viper but he'll be long gone when he hears us coming" I add cautiously.

"And in any event I've never seen one here" Even more cautiously I add.

Lots of sighs is the response and the group turns around and heads off towards the wine presses.

At that precise moment an ottoman viper some eighteen inches long drops from a cypress tree and lands within touching distance from my feet and scuttles off down the mountain side to the cover of a rock. 

Ah well, I did tell my guests but I don't think they really believed me!

So here's a nice picture of a wine press instead.


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