I've been trying to think of a way to share this post without 'grossing' anyone out...but I don't think that's possible. So if you choose to read this, be forewarned there will be some photos of blood and guts. The garden is always full of surprises, and this afternoon, no one was more surprised than my son and me when we watched a garter snake completely ingest a fairly large toad! We had just taken our two dogs out when my son saw the dog jump back; then he saw the snake. We both walked closer and saw that it had part of a frog in it's mouth. I have to admit, my first thought was to try and save the frog. But it already had a pretty good injury, which was bleeding, so it was probably too late to do anything even if I'd wanted to. I didn't quite know, at first, what type of snake it was--even though I have seen garter snakes before. It was light green with a black checkerboard pattern. I went in and grabbed my camera and had my son check online for an ID on the snake. If it had been venomous, I contemplated getting an axe! I don't like to kill anything but a poisonous snake in my yard could test my outer limits...
Anyway, I took a series of photos of the whole event and despite the blood and gore, want to share them here. Even though I like both frogs and (most) snakes and really don't like to see them injured or killed, it was quite fascinating and educational--and honestly, just a natural part of life. It was weird, standing there watching this helpless frog suffer, but I knew there was really nothing I could do but leave the scene, or watch and take some photos. So, for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure) I offer the following--a movie made with a string of clips, using Picasa. You can stop the movie at any point to view individual photos (if you dare!).
Garter snakes are beneficial snakes to have in your garden. They are not harmful and eat a lot of pests like mice and voles. Unfortunately, every now and then, a small bird or frog falls prey. But that's life. Thanks for today!
Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.