Cape Cobra in my Studio

Cape Cobra in my Studio

Believe it or not, this morning I was visited by a Cape Cobra in my Studio! I was working on my computer when I heard a strange noise. I knew I was alone, so what could that be? It sort of sounded like a tortoise… but in my studio? Hmmm… I didn’t see anything and turned back to the screen, when – from the corner of my eye – I saw a large snake moving towards my feet… as it’s summer I was wearing simple sandals. I still am now at almost midnight.

Cape Cobra in my Studio in Noordhoek, South Africa

I pulled my feet back – and this brisk movement made her turn extremely fast and then I heard it again, that strange noise…. and there she was, curling up in a wastepaper box where I had just dumped the packaging of my new headset.

She was looking straight at me… as you see on the not too optimal photos… but given the fact that these snakes are extremely fast when they strike or spit and their venom is fatal if not treated in time – I was on the guard and perhaps a bit shaking LOL. There was hardly any distance between us – so I had to respect her space. There was definitely some kind of communication going on between us, however, I prefered her in the garden… thinking also of my cat.

I put on rubber boots to protect at least my lower end, took a broom and gently enticed her to get out of my space and back into the garden. She was not aggressive at all… but determined to stay… and instead of moving out of the door, she passed it and disappeared rapidly under a coach…

From here a whole odyssey started to get her out… especially as she was very difficult to spot and when approached with a stick she would attack it and hit it hard blowing her typical head into shape – and come closer! So the solution was to enclose her with all sort of pieces of wood, boards, even matresses piled vertically – as they climb very easily – brief: to leave only one way of escape: the door to the garden.

But she wouldn’t go! Meanwhile she had disappeared through the finest of space into a a large cupboard with many partitions and many, many places to hide!!! Duhhh! She was winning all the way – getting her shade and a cool spot out of the heat plus a friendly service as I put a big bowl of water on the floor – sort of a drink on her way out.

Cape Cobra in my Studio

The Cape Cobra liked my Studio and was determined to stay!

I had to think fast – and most vulnerable in these cases are kids and pets. So I caught my cat and put him into another room – boy, he was not happy!

I spoke to some friends and got all sorts of advice and warnings. Cape Cobras are amongst the most dangerous snakes in Africa. Their venom is fatal if not treated in time. I know, I grew up with snakes in Namibia – happy black mamba and horn viber country. Getting a snake catcher means the snake would very probably be put into the “Snake Park” – what a sad fate. In the worst case scenario, the hospital would be 15 minutes away and I would have 1 hour max… just in case; that one hour would be no fun though… And then they want the snake to be brought along for exact identification – one’s gotta have humour here:)

Well, I always respected the snakes in my garden – their space. I just wanted her out of my Studio! No need for that kind of venom cocktail! The news about “my cobra” made the round…. which has its good side too in a country haunted by criminality: noone visits a place with snakes, not even from far LOL!

And then it’s mating season… these snakes look for a partner everywhere, even on my foot … and the idea of possibly having two of them in my studio didn’t appeal to me too much either… and it still doesn’t to be honest as I never found number two!

Well, I had to get into action and, as you see on the video snippets, she had really found the coolest place and while I had seen her in a split second in one place and had to quickly close off before she’d shoot out… a second later she was simply gone. And who would think this large creature could curl up into something that small… and this under an innocent cushion?

Well… with some determined action on my side she started moving in the right direction – but despite everything perfectly sealed off… she managed to dive underneath a heavy mattress and almost got out … but finally she left my place and shot under some dark green deck chair covers that I had thrown out, one after the other, checking all the items that were “without snake”! You see how she sticks her head out, looking straight at me. Quietly, almost cold… and not even the split tongue…

And again, a very fast and totally unexpected reaction: instead of moving into the garden – green, lush and shady – she shot into the opposite direction where we have a building site… hot and rough for slick snake bellies! But incredible how she snakes and sometimes almost flies along… an amazing creature. Here at least I got some impressive shots… yes, she seemed so small from the top … but look at her now!

And then she simply disappeared into nothingness.

Where the heck had she gone???

It took some time to find her having slipped into a cavity in the lower wall of the house. It seems she needs to stay close… well, just not inside my studio please!

Too strange the mongoose didn’t get this one… as he comes for visits too – which is not liked by my cat … and that means war!

Here you go: today’s adventure: a Cape Cobra in my Studio!

I am glad to hear the peaceful hooting of the owls – midnight passed… time for some rest!

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New Facebook Page

New Facebook Page

Following up on yesterday’s post HERE, and based on the fact that WordPress now allows for superb – yet quite complex and time-consuming – integration possibilities with Facebook, all participants of this past weekend’s Ycademy Seminar November 2011 developed a new Facebook Page – also called “Fanpage”.

Best WP based Facebook Fanpage by Bianca Gubalke

New Facebook Page

It’s a personal choice as to whether the access to one’s new Facebook Page goes via a so-called ‘reveal page’ – as explained yesterday – or visitors don’t have to go the extra ‘like’ route and can have a quick look without that at what the owner of the Facebook Fanpage has to offer.

While I setup the “like-us” page for the time being as part of the exercise – and I quite like it as I love my owl :) – I would probably prefer to offer the straight route.

For the time being, I integrated an elegant SlideDeck with a number of slides inviting the visitor to click on what interests them – be it to connect and meet me on a more persoanl level – which would obviously be on my Author Blog -, or if they share my passion for photography to go to my Photo Blog… or, if they have a professional interest in what I’m doing and might need a website, then they can go to my Showcase 2010 to check out my work and style and see if that’s what appeals to them. As simple as that.

New Facebook Page

Everybody talks about “original quality content” – yet how many deliver it? And how does it compare to the masses of cyberwaste out there?

From what I hear, the Like-Me button may lose its importance and the new Facebook Trend will be a focus on quality content.

More on this later… at the moment I was just suprised by an impressive snake who snuggled up next to me in the wastebin and refused to move out back into the garden… she preferred a cooler place under my sofa. A bit of a weird feeling to have THIS visitor right next to me… I got her on a photo… but then I had to jump LOL

More later!

Facebook Fanpage

Facebook Fanpage

Creating a Facebook Fanpage from our WordPress has become possible and, accordingly, this month’s (current) Ycademy Seminar November 2011 focuses on setting up the Best WP based Facebook Fanpage based on our purpose and online media marketing requirements.

Facebook Fanpage for Bianca Gubalke - The Reveal Page

Facebook Fanpage

The question to ask ourselves is: “Who would we like to attract… where… how… and why?” and definitely, we would only want to ‘talk’ to serious people who have an interest in what we are doing, offering or showing them and from where we can expect some interesting ‘conversation’. I am still amazed how this form of terminology is being translated and adapted to a modern online format – but since this is fast becoming the norm, we’ve got to learn the language and be … ‘cool’. LOL

How do we do this – especially if we don’t have the time nor the interest of hanging out on Social Networks all day long as we are busy doing our real business – in my case Web Design and Media related stuff that needs absolute focus, concentration and trips in the ‘real’ world without even a smartphone or any other form of line to attach me … duuuh, which Aquarius likes that anyway???

Talking Facebook Fanpage right now, this is what we are elaborating right now. . . and what you see above is my so-called “Reveal Page”.

What does this mean?

It simply means that only people who have clicked on “Like” get the Inside Story! To others this remains hidden… So while online marketing remains a numbers game at the end of the day, this kind of approach definitely puts quality (meaning the quality of an online relationship…) above quantity.

Having spent some time on Social Networks over the past 2 months or so, and having built some contact of value… I can say, this is what I ‘like’.

Web Design with Passion

My Author Blog Bianca Gubalke stands for “Web Design with Passion” which obviously encompasses many areas of interest… be it Web Development, Web Design, Media Design, Photography, Graphic Design, Editing and Publishing to name the main categories. Once the Facebook Fanpage has been ‘liked’, these categories can be directly accessed and conversation can begin.

The technical setup and implementation will be subject of today’s second day at the Ycademy Seminar. I will be back soon!

Donovan Copley Photo

Donovan Copley Photo

I love Black & White Portrait Photography and especially this photo I captured of Donovan Copley at the Book Launch of “Brave Green Kids” at the “Crowned Eagle” of Monkey Valley Resort, Noordhoek, South Africa. Click on it to see a larger version.

Donovan Copley Photo by Bianca Gubalke

Donovan Copley Photo

Here’s another Photo of Donovan Copley and Leon Visser in black & white at the same occasion. I published the colour picture shortly after the book launch to let some time pass and see this in a different light… and shadow.

Donovan Copley & Leaon Visser Photo by Bianca Gubalke (11/11/2011)

Singer-songwriter, guitarrist and multi-instrumentalist Donovan Copley leads HOT WATER, a young and energetic South African band with a distinctive African sound – check it out and attend one of their concerts! Being there and experiencing the Energy makes all the difference!