Snake Wars

August 10, 2010

Yesterday evening was a bit of war zone down by the pond.  The first confrontation was “Snake vs. Frog“. . .

I was happily minding my own business photographing butterflies on some Joe Pye weeds on the pond banks when there was a BIG commotion in the water!

There was a lot of splashing, and at first I couldn’t tell what was going on.

frog and snake

There's something strange about that frog...

I thought at first a big frog had just jumped into the water was all, but the frog was swimming most erratically!

frog in water

MUST. BREAK. FREE!!!!

The frog struggled valiantly, but he never really had much of a chance.  Once the snake got a good hold, it had the advantage of size and oh yes… a dose of poison.  We’re talking water moccasins here.

Soon then end was in sight. . .

frog and snake in pond

End game in sight. . .

And the short war was over. . .
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And that was the end. Didn’t see the frog again. 

Snakes: 1 – Frog:0

However, the pond appears to have a thriving snake population. This is no surprise considering the heat.  They’re searching for water for one thing.  For another, the pond is a veritable buffet for snakes with all the frogs and other aquatic critters.  So I soon spotted another snake.

snake by bank

Taking a rest before the hunt. . .

This was just too much for The Farmer.  Even though he was hobbling around with a funky orthopedic sandal and big bright green bandage on his foot (had a toenail removed yesterday), he couldn’t stand it.  He went for a gun.

Now it was The Farmer vs. Snakes.

Of course, by the time he hobbled in the house, got a gun out of the safe and loaded it, the two bigger snakes were nowhere to be found.

One little snake, however, wasn’t so smart and had the temerity to show up practically in front of The Farmer.  Bad move.  The Farmer let him have it with both barrels, so to speak.

small dead snake in pond

On the way down and out. . .

I don’t think he was hit directly, but died from the shock of the blast concussion.  Sort of like fishing Crocodile Dundee style… with dynamite.

That was an even shorter war. 

The Farmer: 1 – Snakes: 1 – Frog: 0

As many snakes as there are in the pond, I really think the odds are in their favor in the long haul for winning the Snake Wars.

Friday’s Farm Fotos

June 25, 2010

Another Friday, and just a few photos from around the farm this week.  Well, actually, I just took these pictures this morning, while doing morning chores and then walking to the mailbox with my crazy gotta-love-him dog, Toby.

The phlox is finally blooming in the flower bed on the northern end of the house.

Phlox paniculata 'David'

There are some daylilies hiding in the shadows along the steps.

Daylily 'Stella d'Oro'

By the pond, there are always dragonflies.  I like this picture because you can see how transparent the wings are.

Just Resting A Minute

There are also butterflies flitting around.  This morning a nice yellow and black swallowtail was sipping water off the leaves in the shadows.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

And there was even a frog sitting on some pond plants in the swallow water near the bank.

No lily pad in sight I'm afraid!

And waiting on me to quit being so poky and GET OUT OF THE SUN was Toby in shade at the top of the steps.

It's too hot to stay in the sunshine!

When you’ve got a black fur coat, the sun feels really hot really fast!

And there you have it, the same old stuff here on the farm!  Hope you have a great week-end, and thanks for stopping by!

Around the pond…

June 18, 2010

Here’s what I’m seeing these days around the pond. . .

There’s Lizard Tail plants growing around the edge. They like wet places, obviously!

Lizard Tail Plant (Saururus cernuus)

More surprisingly, a butterfly bush is growing on the bank.  How it got there, I have no idea.

Butterly Bush (Buddleia davidii)

There are morning glories growing wild, mostly white ones.

Morning Glory (Ipomoinea . .)

And of course, we see lots of these flitting around. . .

Taking a short break!

There are also a whole lot of frogs in the pond, but getting a picture of them is rather difficult!

But once in a while I catch one. . .

We hear a whole lot more than we see!

I’m sure there are a lot more things living in the water than I’m seeing, but that’s it for now!

Froggy Friday

April 16, 2010

I guess these frogs aren’t so mindful of my presence lately.  Maybe they’ve got other things on their mind, ha, ha!

At any rate, I saw a couple more close to the sides of the pond this morning:

Frog

Just resting.

And one even closer the edges, among some of the green growth. . .

frog in pond

"It's not a lily pad, but it'll have to do."

I also noticed my rambling rose is greening up.  It get leaves sooner than the oak tree it’s climbing, so it’s easier to see in the spring how far up it is.

Rambling Rose - Paul's Himalayan Musk Rambler

Paul's Himalayan Musk Rambler in oak tree

The green to the left at the bottom is the rambler, and then all the green way up in the branches is also the rambler.  Ought to be pretty when it blooms.

We’re leaving tomorrow for a vacation in Florida.  Ellie is still there getting therapy, so we’ll see Richard, Chrystie & her.  AND the Sanford clan is there, AND Phantom son Randy is coming… so we’re gonna have a fun family reunion!

And on the way down The Farmer & I are stopping off at the Okefenokee Swamp to do a little exploring.  Never been there, so this ought to fun too!

More Signs Of Spring

March 9, 2010

I’ve talked about the wild birds and peacocks looking for a mate and nesting. But there are also signs of spring from the amphibian and reptile sectors.

In the reptile kingdom, I saw a couple of turtles out sunning on the log in the pond yesterday for the first time this year.

Turtles on log in pond.

In the amphibian sector, the frogs are out too.  But getting a picture of one of them continues to elude me.  I’ve even tried walking along the edge of the pond with the video going, and though you can see a splash in the water or hear a little cheep from time to time, you can’t actually see the frogs.

However, when it comes to the audio, well, for a couple of weeks now I’ve been hearing the “spring peepers.”  I stood down in the bottom pasture beside the bog yesterday and took this little video. It’s not much for looks; it’s the sound that matters.

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Here again, being able to SEE the little critters just doesn’t happen. They hide down in all that vegetation – you can see what I mean from where I zoomed in on it near the end of the video.  I have never been able to spot even one little frog, much less get a picture of it.

For one thing, the minute they hear or feel the vibration of me getting close, they shut up.  For another, I really don’t want to crawl around in that marshy area peering under clumps of weeds, trying to see a frog.  With my luck, I’d come on some kind of water snake!

That in itself might be a little unsettling, but we have a plethora of water moccasins around here, and I really am not keen on a poisonous snake bite.

So I fear the shy little frogs will continue to elude the paparazzi.