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Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!



 
 
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  #1  
Old 09-05-2011, 07:29 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 795
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2011, 08:05 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 34
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

On 09/05/2011 19:29, Jake wrote:
Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!

Well that's a first for me, handled loads of Slow worms and never once
been bitten, they swallow their prey rather than chew them, if they feel
threatened they shit on you, stinks as well.
Sure they weren't young grass snakes or adders?

--
Corporal Jones
"Don't panic don't panic"
Life will go on albeit somewhat reduced

  #3  
Old 09-05-2011, 08:08 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 34
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

On 09/05/2011 19:29, Jake wrote:
Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!


Well that's a first for me, handled loads of Slow worms and never once
been bitten, they swallow their prey rather than chew them, if they feel
threatened they shit on you, stinks as well.
Sure they weren't young grass snakes or adders?

--
Corporal Jones
"Don't panic don't panic"
Life will go on albeit somewhat reduced

  #4  
Old 09-05-2011, 09:40 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 364
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

In message , Jake
writes
Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!


Slow worms certainly have the ability to bite (as you have discovered)
but your experience is _very_ rare; so you should be proud and display
your scars to all and sundry:-). The good news is that the bites are not
poisonous (as you have also discovered). In fact they are extremely
"brittle" animals (Anguis fragilis) and can shed their tail - 50 - 60%
of their body - to escape if caught. Cats are among the greatest dangers
they face.

I believe another group - uk.rec.natural-history - would be very
interested to hear of your experience as would several wildlife fora
(e.g. http://wildaboutbritain.co.uk, http://www.wildlifeuk.net etc.).
Why not post there too? Hope the stinging stops soon.

They're beautiful creatures and helpful to gardeners so please try to
forgive them; they must have been petrified:-))
--
Gopher .... I know my place!
  #5  
Old 09-05-2011, 09:49 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 795
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

On Mon, 09 May 2011 20:05:26 +0100, Corporal Jones
wrote:

On 09/05/2011 19:29, Jake wrote:
Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!

Well that's a first for me, handled loads of Slow worms and never once
been bitten, they swallow their prey rather than chew them, if they feel
threatened they shit on you, stinks as well.
Sure they weren't young grass snakes or adders?


Deffo slow worms. I get adders in the garden a bit later in the year
but never adderlings (is that what they're called?) as they seem to
spend the early part of the season along the riverbank next door but
one (next door being a field currently of rape - thanks for inhalers -
the river's on the other side). Grass snakes tend to curl around my
hand/arm rather than bite (and are quite cute in a way). I've had a
nip from a slow worm before whilst rescuing it from a neighbour's cat
but not a pair of grab and hang ons like today.

Plus adders would have bitten and "run" (and I'd have suffered a bit
more in a different way, I think!). But I didn't panic. I tried a
Mannering lecture first. They didn't drop off (not even to sleep). You
would have been proud, watching me whacking them against one of the
daleks, in a totally non-panic mood I hasten to add Then this funny
chap appeared with some sort of device he called a sonic screwdriver.
He pointed it at them. There was a funny buzz and they let go all of a
sudden and wriggled off (not slithering I hasten to add).
  #6  
Old 09-05-2011, 10:02 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 795
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

On Mon, 9 May 2011 21:40:06 +0100, Gopher wrote:

In message , Jake
writes
Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!


Slow worms certainly have the ability to bite (as you have discovered)
but your experience is _very_ rare; so you should be proud and display
your scars to all and sundry:-). The good news is that the bites are not
poisonous (as you have also discovered). In fact they are extremely
"brittle" animals (Anguis fragilis) and can shed their tail - 50 - 60%
of their body - to escape if caught. Cats are among the greatest dangers
they face.

I believe another group - uk.rec.natural-history - would be very
interested to hear of your experience as would several wildlife fora
(e.g. http://wildaboutbritain.co.uk, http://www.wildlifeuk.net etc.).
Why not post there too? Hope the stinging stops soon.

They're beautiful creatures and helpful to gardeners so please try to
forgive them; they must have been petrified:-))


I have to admit that, round here, most slow worms (which seem to be
myriad despite my reading somewhere that they're an endangered
species) have lost their tails thanks to the cat that's adopted me. He
regularly finds one, snips its tail off and then leaves it to slither
(please will someone tell me what slow worms do - I know they don't
slither as they're lizards, not snakes) away. A neighbour's cat gets
more destructive but I usually manage to rescue the worm if I catch it
in time. Never found slow worms (or indeed anything bigger than
woodlice and similar creepy crawlies) in a compost dalek before,
though.

From what you say, I should bear my wounds with appropriate pride.
Should I be asking Her Majesty for a DSO perhaps:-))?
  #7  
Old 10-05-2011, 08:50 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
CT
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Posts: 168
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

Jake wrote:

Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!


I'm really really sorry about this, but that has mande me laugh like a
drain. Don't suppose there's a clip of it on Youtube, is there? )

--
Chris
  #8  
Old 10-05-2011, 09:48 AM
kay kay is offline
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Posts: 1,792
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake View Post

But I didn't panic. I tried a
Mannering lecture first. They didn't drop off (not even to sleep).
Shame. You really missed an opportunity there! Sounds as if you had plenty of time to go indoors and fetch your camera...

I'm so jealous, not just slow worms but grass snakes and adders too!

I had proud no-panic moment too - on holiday in Portugal a couple of weeks ago, mooching around looking at orchids, walked round a beehive to start my journey back, spotted another orchid, bent down to check it - didn't notice the *second* beehive 12 inches from the orchid. Suddenly realised I had a bee on my nose and several others attempting to entangle themselves in my hair. Batted off the bee on my nose (a swollen nose tip is *so* unattractive) then said "wait - bees don't like people thrashing about wildly", so walked calmly but briskly away, and shed all the bees without receiving a sting.

It was part way through this that I realised the world was out of focus ...

Binoculars revealed my glasses lying about 18 inches from the hive.

Luckily my resident oligochaetologist did his Sir Galahad act. My silk headscarf over his head and face, sleeves pulled down, socks over his hands. Walked calmly in, picked up the glasses and came back out. Brilliant!
__________________
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2011, 11:13 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 795
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

On 10 May 2011 07:50:58 GMT, "CT" wrote:

Jake wrote:

Checked my compost daleks today in anticipation of emptying them over
the beds and borders. Happy that both look like I've tipped a bag of
multi-purpose into them (and the exit holes at the bottom look equally
good).

Made big mistake!

Pushed hand down into one to feel what it was like in the middle.

Picture this - jiggling hand around to get it down as far as arm will
reach. Nice warm feeling on hand. Suddenly, great pain. Yank hand out,
complete with two slow worms firmly hanging on to fingers by their
teeth or whatever they have.

I was whacking them against the side of the daleks for a while before
they let go and slithered off somewhere (OK they're lizards that don't
slither but I wasn't worrying about semantics at that point). Sheesh!
The amount of blood; the size of the wounds.

Note to self - don't try rescuing slow worms from cat in future!

Three hours and dollops of TCP later and the hand is still stinging!


I'm really really sorry about this, but that has mande me laugh like a
drain. Don't suppose there's a clip of it on Youtube, is there? )


Must admit the phrase "Captain Mannering lecture" was jokingly
directed at the Corporal. What actually escaped my lips, rather
loudly, was "Oh F!".

I usually carry an old digital camera around with me when gardening (I
like before and after shots) but yesterday it was charging though I
don't think I would have had the presence of mind to start filming - I
just wanted to sodding things to let go. Why they didn't is a mystery
as when rescuing from cat the most I might get is a split second nip.
This was the first time they hung on. The "wounds" are actually tiny
but I think they "bit deep" into loose skin on the nuckles, hence the
blood!.
  #10  
Old 10-05-2011, 11:19 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 795
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

On Tue, 10 May 2011 08:48:23 +0000, kay
wrote:


Jake;920696 Wrote:


But I didn't panic. I tried a
Mannering lecture first. They didn't drop off (not even to sleep).


Shame. You really missed an opportunity there! Sounds as if you had
plenty of time to go indoors and fetch your camera...

I'm so jealous, not just slow worms but grass snakes and adders too!

I had proud no-panic moment too - on holiday in Portugal a couple of
weeks ago, mooching around looking at orchids, walked round a beehive to
start my journey back, spotted another orchid, bent down to check it -
didn't notice the *second* beehive 12 inches from the orchid. Suddenly
realised I had a bee on my nose and several others attempting to
entangle themselves in my hair. Batted off the bee on my nose (a swollen
nose tip is *so* unattractive) then said "wait - bees don't like people
thrashing about wildly", so walked calmly but briskly away, and shed all
the bees without receiving a sting.

It was part way through this that I realised the world was out of focus
..

Binoculars revealed my glasses lying about 18 inches from the hive.

Luckily my resident oligochaetologist did his Sir Galahad act. My silk
headscarf over his head and face, sleeves pulled down, socks over his
hands. Walked calmly in, picked up the glasses and came back out.
Brilliant!


You're braver than I am! Many years ago, I and several others were
clearing a woodland path when we came across a "wild" bee's nest. Well
actually one of the group whacked it with a machete or something. The
sight of so many grown lads running like mad and waving their arms in
the air must have been funny. My sacrifice was to have one find its
way up my jeans and into my boxer shorts. I'll leave you to guess
where I got stung but after that my father always used to sing a
particular version of "The boy stood on the burning deck" whenever we
met.
  #11  
Old 10-05-2011, 05:38 PM
kay kay is offline
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Posts: 1,792
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake View Post

You're braver than I am! Many years ago, I and several others were
clearing a woodland path when we came across a "wild" bee's nest. Well
actually one of the group whacked it with a machete or something. .
I'd have been running around thrashing madly in that scenario. I doubt whetehr I had more than half a dozen bees escorting me off the premises. But then, I was merely trespassing - no criminal damage involved.
__________________
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2011, 06:08 PM
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Location: Suffolk
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kay View Post
I'd have been running around thrashing madly in that scenario. I doubt whetehr I had more than half a dozen bees escorting me off the premises. But then, I was merely trespassing - no criminal damage involved.
Slowworms are protected by law so your behaviour is unlawful
  #13  
Old 10-05-2011, 08:30 PM
kay kay is offline
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Posts: 1,792
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benacre View Post
Slowworms are protected by law so your behaviour is unlawful
Either your knowledge of zoology is sadly lacking, or your understanding of english. Possibly both.
__________________
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2011, 09:14 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 1,560
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!


"Jake" Nospam@invalid wrote in message
...

You are not alone. Last week on the telly an expert was explaining slow
worms to the presenter and he picked one up, confidently.
It bit him and there was lots of blood.
I laughed.. sorry



  #15  
Old 10-05-2011, 09:43 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 795
Default Slow Worms Have a Bite!!!!

On Tue, 10 May 2011 21:14:23 +0100, "Christina Websell"
wrote:


"Jake" Nospam@invalid wrote in message
.. .

You are not alone. Last week on the telly an expert was explaining slow
worms to the presenter and he picked one up, confidently.
It bit him and there was lots of blood.
I laughed.. sorry


Clearly I have brought so much joy into people's lives that I must be
blessed (as well as bitten!). I shall try to get bitten (and therefore
more blessed) again and, this time, to have a camera running ready to
post on You Tube for Chris :-)

BTW, can anyone tell my why slow worms are all alcoholics? Must be as
they're always legless!
 




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