Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wild Kingdom

We've seen some interesting critters in our back yard over the years. Armadillos, jack rabbits, possums, tarantulas, road runners...

This guy.... If you can't tell, it's a porcupine. He's got his Mohawk on.

There has been the occasional snake, too: A pretty green Mexican racer that rattled the leaves it was hiding in trying to make me think it was a rattle snake.

And this guy, the beneficial rat snake.
But never have hubby and I seen this kind of drama unfold, particularly not in the plant bed right off our porch. It was like watching a National Geographic documentary on the lives of snakes.

Look! A snake. So... it's just a ribbon snake. No, it's more.

Is that two snakes? What are they doing?

Oh my! The ribbon snake is eating the other snake. (Don't know what kind it was.)

Kind of wished I'd had a video camera.

Here it is around that one branch of the pavonia. It tugged and tugged on its meal that was wrapped around the branch to the left. 

But eventually the eatee couldn't hold on any more. Even at this point the eatee's tail wiggled.

 Here, you can just see the last little tip of the tail sticking out of the ribbon snake's mouth.

Ahh... I can't believe I ate the whole thing. Come on give us a nice hearty belch.

The whole process took ten, fifteen minutes at the most and was totally fascinating to watch. Have you ever seen something like this?


  1. A really fantastic series of photos - all so clear. They deserve to be published somewhere in a nature.wildlifr magazine. As you say you really needed a camcorder.

  2. Holey mother of cheese. It's amazing what you see when you look.

    This is the real reason so many people have a horror of snakes, even beneficial ones (as most are). They always swallow their meals alive, and we can't help identifying with the meal.

  3. That is so frightening! How could you get so close and come up with such amazing pictures?

  4. Wow! I knew snakes ate other snakes, but I've never seen it happen.

  5. Thanks Bob! Considering the sun was shining on the LCD panel and that I couldn't see how the picture was going to look, I was very pleased.

    Peni, That might be true, I just look at it as part of nature. We eat things that are alive too, (from veggies to bacteria) and we don't think about it any more than the snake did.

    Ghadeer, I was sitting between 2 and 3 feet away and used the zoom on my camera. It was a small snake, at most 18 inches and maybe an inch in diameter. I'm not all that scared of snakes and knowing it was harmless (to me) made it fascinating. Besides it was busy eating and wasn't paying me any attention.

  6. Really cool shots. There is a shot of a Boom Slang (Tree Snake) on my blog.
    I don't get the "I'm so scared of snakes" thing.

  7. Good grief! That was something to capture with your camera, Bish! I've seen them mate, but not eat one of their kind. They kind of do a dance around and around each other. I'm not a snake fan, but they fascinate me.

  8. This is fantastic photography!! And in your back yard too! We had to go to Kruger Park to see something similar (a python swallow a whole impala!) But this snake eating snake drama is worthy of the best Oscar!!

    Amazing. I think I'm going to have to tweet a link!!

  9. I imagine the snake had a good after-dinner nap. Great story and photos.

  10. Hi, Bish,
    That snake looks positively evil in the last shot. I know that this is how the animal kingdom works, but it still makes my blood run cold.

    Who'd have thought you could capture that in your yard. Amazing.

  11. I can't remember ever seeing anything like that! I loved the pictures and just showed my husband. How cool that you were able to snap a series! WOW!

  12. Ewwwwwww!!!!!!!

    I'm glad I don't live where you live, Bish. I wouldn't survive long. :P

  13. Oh, Bish! Eewwww! I think I threw up a little. :P I've never seen this happen in real life, but I did have a harmless black snake living in my flower bed in so-Ala. An old-timer told me not to kill him b/c he kept away the BAD snakes... So I didn't. :o) <3

  14. Wow, you weren't kidding about the Wild Kingdom part...amazing that it's all in your own yard:) Neat pics:)

  15. Whoa... Great pictures, but there are times when nature gives me a kind of ick and nasty feeling--like when one snake ingests another snake.

  16. Eeeek! Yes, this brought back memories from camping! One summer my family and I saw a snake eating some kind of rodent. We have pictures of it, but we could only guess what kind of rodent it was. I know it's nature, but still it gives me the chills!

  17. Holy cow. No, I have never in all my born days seen such a thing and don't expect I will. It's amazing that you happened upon it just then and could get such good photos.

  18. See, I never could have watched it let alone take pics. I would have gripped both snakes by the tails and pulled them apart and then put the little one somewhere safe. Yes, I know I'm messing with the way things are supposed to be, but...


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