You don't go 'gold panning' here. It's 'fossicking'.
And it almost killed me. Okay, maybe just gave me a panic attack.
There are so many animals, bugs and other creepy crawlies that can kill you here in Australia. We hear the stories. I internalize them. We see the warnings. I know those warnings are directed at me. I'm not paranoid. I just know that all the creatures are out to get me and my family.
But, I married a gold miner, so we headed into the bush to find gold.
Here's where I panicked. We were walking through tall grass and moving past bushes and I was just SURE we would come across one of the most venomous snakes in Australia. And then I wondered how far south crocodiles would go. Were we in 'crocodile country'? We didn't know.
WE. DID. NOT. KNOW.
Trying not to let the kidlets know of my panic, I followed them praying that if a snake was going to bite someone that it would be me. And then I thought that wasn't a great idea because while I would rather be the one in pain, nobody would be able to pick me up and get me to the hospital. So then I tried to figure out if there was a way to walk back to car while having a snake bite and NOT elevate my heart rate... and then I really started to panic.
In a quivering voice I asked Papa Echo if he was sure we should be walking through the grass. He said 'yes if we want to get to the water'. I sighed and asked if he had thought about snakes. He said 'we'll be fine'. I asked him if we were in crocodile country. He looked at me funny and said, 'I don't think so'. I latched onto his word 'think' and told him that we were going to be one of 'those' stories in the news of the 'stupid foreigners that go into the wild and die'. He pointed out that we were NOT in the outback and we would be just fine.
So, I followed on... for my kidlets.
We panned. I mean, fossicked.
My family had fun.
No snakes or crocodiles were seen.
I asked about snakes. They said, "Yeah... that's brown snake territory. But you really should have been worried about the red-backed spiders"
Big sigh... I forgot about the spiders.