Sunday, May 4, 2014

Contrasts


We had quite an amazing walk this morning. About 2 weeks ago, one of the usual trails was filled - literally covered - with caterpillars. The flowers were still in nearly full bloom, and each one seemed to have a caterpillar climbing on it. I admit, I didn't take a single photo, feeling somewhat queasy by the prospect of so many caterpillars. Today, the same trail was filled with butterflies. (I think they were American Painted Lady butterflies, but I'm not sure.) It was rather magical to walk around, surrounded by butterflies. M, Pono and I were having a nice little butterly walk, with M out in front. Suddenly, M stopped, turned and grabbed the dog. "SNAKE!" While he held the dog, I, (of course) had to go in for a closer look. Lo and behold a rattlesnake caught in the middle of breakfast!!!! (Okay, Dad, I know you aren't a big fan, so you should probably cover your eyes. This goes for any of you who are a might sensitive.)



This last photo was taken about 8 minutes later, after we had hiked further and I decided I had to go back for another peek. I mean, it's not every day you see a snake swallowing a rat, right?

I think it's a speckled rattlesnake, possibly a Panamint speckled rattlesnake. M thinks it's a Western Diamondback. In either case, it was quite impressive, and maybe more than a little revolting on some level, no matter how much you love nature. (and snakes.) And now I wonder how many of you are going to comment about how I can take a photo of a snake swallowing a rat, but not a photo of a trail covered in caterpillars......

All I can say is that the world is full of contrasts of all kinds. Today, the contrast being one of a hike where it began as air filled with butterflies and had a snake in the middle. The end was rather anti-climactic, to say the least.

Happy May, everyone.

8 comments:

Diana said...

Wow. Pretty cool find on your desert sojourn! I know it's kind of squeamish to watch but so fascinating at the same time. This has been quite the spring to see our beautiful desert unfold. Lucky sighting. Thank you for sharing!

Brenda said...

This is probably the first meal of the season. Was the rat dead, stunned, alive? Great photo!

Rachel Pino said...

Wow, that is truly an amazing sight to see! Glad you took the pics so we could all see that, so cool!

Rachel Pino said...

Wow, that is truly an amazing thing to see in person in the wild! Thanks for taking the pics so that we can all see, so cool!

Perry said...

Great shots!!!

Karine Swenson said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Diana, Rachel, Perry and Brenda.
Brenda, the rat was dead. The rattler will bite it first, and the venom kills the rat. Once the rat is dead, the snake will find it and swallow it, head first and whole. Just like you see. Amazing!

Terry said...

Great pictures of the snake. As much as I don't like snakes, I sure appreciate your pics. Good thing he was busy with breakfast, or he may have found you tasty.

Patty said...

I just never know what you're going to share from one post to the next. You're amazing!