Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew













The shrinking pond has the effect of concentrating prey for all types of predators. The fish find it easier to pick off minnows as they are all crowded together in the center of the pond. Likewise, should a wandering gator, otter, or osprey show up, the fish would be easy targets...like shooting fish in a barrel.

The frogs that ring the pond each evening are finding the hunting easier too since they are minnow and insect eaters. The minnows have nowhere to go and the upper banks of the pond are covered in wildflowers that are all abuzz with insect activity. The frogs are often up the bank in this meadowy carpet hunting and eating.

It's summer and the living is easy...













...easier said than done. Posted by Picasa

16 comments:

R2K said...

Pretty wild!

Wayne said...

Heh - Frogs are so cool at what they do. I never tire of watching them and listening to them. Toads ain't bad either.

Nice photographic series too! "Never eat anything bigger than your head" never applied to frogs.

roger said...

is that a fish eating the frog? what sort of time frame are we watching here? did the recent rain raise the water level in the pond? do your students ask so many questions?

whatever it is, great pictures.

robin andrea said...

Wow, FC. Someone is enjoying quite a meal there. Wonderfully documented.

Floridacracker said...

Alex,
Well said.

Wayne,
This is a case of arrested development.

dpr,
it's a water snake trying to get his head around a young bullfrog who wasn't quite through metamorphosing...see the frog/tadpole tail? timeframe is just a few minutes, it was taking so long i left the snake to his meal work.

Robin,
It's how I look when someone puts a plate of fried chicken anywhere near me.

pablo said...

The snake said, "Now wouldn't it be neat,
To grab a frog that is too big to eat?"
It's a real head-smacker.
But thanks for the Florida Cracker,
We get pictures of this gruesome feat.

(sorry!)

Laura said...

FC didn't stick around long enough to hear the snake say "...it tastes like chicken!"

btw, is that a water moccasin? scary!!

Mrs. S said...

When I was younger my cousins would come into town every summer and we'd all have a blast together. One of my cousins, Kristy, was enamoured of frogs, and we'd all spend quite a few hours a day catching them - you know, just for the challege of it all.

One day, we found a snake eating a frog - the poor frog was much in the same position the the froggie in your pictures today is - and poor little Kristy just couldn't handle that idea and so she took the nearst stick she could find and hit the poor snake with it, all the while yelling at him "Don't eat him! Spit him out, you stupid snake!! DON'T EAT HIM!"

If she hadn't been quite so freaked out by it, I'm sure it would have been a lot more entertaining. I think one of the adults finally heard the ruckus and came and at the very least removed the offending frog-eater from my cousin's view.

That's it... no moral... no point... just memories brought on by your excellent photography skills ;)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Wow, how interesting, but being who I am...I would have had to save that poor little frog, if I could.

Lately I have been trying not to interfere with nature and just be an observer...it's not easy and I still find myself wanting to save everything. Sometimes I just have to walk away.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I was just thinkin', if you had collected both you coulda had frog legs and white meat that tastes like chicken. Throw in some grits and you got a fine southern meal. Well, maybe some gravy and biscuits, too...

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
No apologies needed, I love it.

Laura,
He might have said that...hard to tell with his mouth full. Not a cottonmouth, just a water snake.

Mrs. S,
It didn't need a moral, that tale stood on it's own. I'm sure snakes are quite used to the stick treatment.

Abandoned,
I know, occasionally (yesterday actually) I intervene. It was a bumble bee in a spider web and I just couldn't help myself.
As for the poor frog, I just remind myself that he would gladly eat me if I were 2 inches tall, it's just a matter of perspective.
You have a kind heart.

Hoss,
...and bacon. There has to be bacon in there somewhere if we are going to call it southern cooking.

threecollie said...

Wonderful photos...you do have the knack!

vicki said...

I just knew if I dropped in over here the place would be rife with violence and (lizard) sex. What fun! But all Hoss thinks about is food.

Floridacracker said...

ThreeCollie,
It's nice when you can step out your front door and be "out there". Makes it easy for me.

Vicki,
He was just completing the the triangle of life.

Ava said...

Sounds like the pond is buzzing with activity! Great shot of the frog being eaten. Things like that interest me.

Anonymous said...

Froggy's legs going down snakey's mouth! It's not funny but its almost comical!

No disrespect to froggy! :-(

But always remember the dignity of the hunt, that ancient tradition by which wildlife thrive, that humans got away from...

Much more dignified than subjecting animals to the slaughterhouse...now if it weren't for climate change then frogs would not be endangered and everyone could eat frog legs too...like in the olden days

Did you know that the French order their frog's legs from the Orient now? Climate change & pollution ruined froggy populations in France!

Darn!

Thanks for the beautiful piccies!!!