Friday, August 6, 2010

Snakes and toads....

One reason not to live in Florida....SNAKES!

So far I've been warned by more than one rattlesnake, seen water moccasins darting away, and had some dumb snake actually let me pick it up as it curled up under the rock I was moving. This last incident was the weirdest/nastiest though.

Earlier this week I needed to clean out one gutter which was clogged way down the downspout. Now our house, which was built in the 50's, isn't engineered in a subdivision with nice drainage. Instead of swales and retention ponds, all the water needs to get to the road where it flows to the storm drains and straight to the nearby river. This means our gutters empty down into drainspouts which are connected to large PVC pipes that are adjacent to the house and then lead to the front and down the driveway. To clean out the clogged pipe, I had to remove a downspout and undo a 20' section of PVC.

As I pulled up the PVC from beside/half hidden under the house, a large toad jumped out. He was now around the house from where he normally enters the pipe. We see toads all the time and this one in particular enters at the driveway and lives inside. Thanks to my cleaning it was 20' away from the driveway and I had the pipe all sealed back up and in place. That left the toad no where to jump back into it. I wondered if I should carry the thing back to the driveway and show it it's home but decided instead to let nature run it's course. Afterall, it should be smart enough to figure out where home is, right?

Fast forward to last night... as I went out to turn off our well, right next to where the toad was hiding a few days earlier, I thought to myself I hope no snake is hiding here about to bite me as I reach into the brush for the spigot. Of course guess what was waiting for me??? A snake!

This time though it didn't want to bite me as it had half swallowed Mr. Toad. The toad was just chilling there looking content as it was eaten alive. This snake was really to small to have such a large meal and I felt bad for the toad who I had put in this predicament. I couldn't just leave it there so I got a shovel.

Before you stop reading No I did not kill the snake! I nudged the snake and persuaded him to let go of the toad. At this point the toad was a bit in shock but he moved a few hops away. His one leg was a little injured but overall he looked pretty good. I grabbed a glove and carried him back to the entrance to the gutter pipe and inside he hopped. I wonder when the next downpour occurs if we'll have a dead toad wash out or if he will make it?!?!

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