Thursday, August 7, 2014

More Death in the Pines

Not long after we witnessed the end of the cicada I noticed the snake that lives in our pond filter was on the prowl.

(The mosquitos seem always to be on the prowl ...)

Since I already had the camera out I turned and started shooting. But I missed the strike!

But the snake didn't.

And off he went with his prize.

The pond has a variety of fish of differing sizes and we were surprised the snake took one this large. We though that swallowing it would be a challenge. We were wrong.

It did take awhile for him to wrestle the fish out of the water and drag it up on to the rocks.

The fish was surprisingly docile. it seemed resigned to its fate, and struggled barely at all.

Once out of the water the snake repositioned the fish so as to swallow it head first.

This was the time for the fish to flop around and perhaps flip back into the pond and make its escape.

But it was not to be. The snake opened its jaws and gulped it down.

All that remained were a few scales on the rock.

And the snake. And the ever present mosquitos.

It is a dangerous place we've moved to ...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Death in the Pines

Sunday Patty and I were enjoying our morning coffee on our new deck when Patty noticed a commotion in the reeds on the side of our pond. "What's that?" she asked.

Looking through the binoculars she saw this:

The cicada was still struggling, but the fight was already over.

The mantis was busy munching away on the cicada's face. Despite the occasional wing flutter and shaking it was clear who the winner was here.

As we worked in the yard throughout the morning we checked in on the mantis from time to time. It spent several hours on its meal, hanging in the same spot. Eventually we headed out, errands to run, things to buy. They were gone when we got back, with no sign of the struggle that had occurred that morning.

We've not seen a mantis since. The din of the cicadas is our soundtrack every night.