While descending Hurricane Mountain a week or so ago, I spooked a large garter snake (probably 28-30″ long with a inch-and-a-half diameter). I stopped stock still and watched as he was obviously hunting—his tongue darting as he poked under a fallen tree and in the leaf litter. Without warning, he struck at something I didn’t see—a toad hidden under a layer of leaves. The battle ensued. Robin and I watched for a good 10 minutes as the struggle between snake and rather large toad played out…
Moments after this last shot, the snake righted itself, lifted the toad a good 6″ off the forest floor, and sped out of sight into cover to finish the job. We could only stand in awe at the power, strength, and persistence of the snake—and yes, we had some remorse for the toad. Such is life in the forest.
Photos taken with a Panasonic GM5 and Lumix 12-32mm lens.
September 23, 2017 at 9:27 am
I watched and photographed a similar scene about a year ago. It’s quite a sight. My thought was, at what point does the frog, in my case, know it’s over? My frog disappeared rump first. Quite a challenge for the snake. Thanks for sharing.
September 24, 2017 at 12:17 pm
Happy to share Ed. The toad put up a good fight, but I think the snake had its (very big) meal!
September 24, 2017 at 9:09 am
September 26, 2017 at 3:50 pm
Oh that poor, poor toad, what a horrible way to die! Incredibly fascinating to watch though!
September 26, 2017 at 4:03 pm
Yes, we certainly had sympathy for the toad, but that’s the way of the world in the forest!