June 25, 2007

Mother nature is tough

green headed tree snake, Leptophis mexicanus, Honduras
The other day I heard a squawking noise outside. I thought it was a new type of bird that I hadn't heard before. As I was going to look out the window, I saw Frank, our workman, wild-eyed, running up the stairs to the terraza with a machete. I rushed out to the terraza to see what it was.

We found this thin, meter-long (3 feet) snake wrapped around a flower pot. As I moved the pot, the snake jumped to the ground with a small frog in his mouth. Frank was standing at the ready with the machete. The water that you'll see on the floor at the beginning was spilled from the pot tray. The puddle later on is what the snake squeezed out of the frog.

I felt sorry for the frog but it was too late to save him. I told Frank not to kill the snake and ran inside to get my camera. I took several videos and photos and cut them down to this 3 minute video. The whole process of devouring the frog took more than 30 minutes.

green headed tree snake, Leptophis mexicanus, HondurasThe snake wasn't really aggressive. I think he was kind of helpless after he had consumed the frog. I admit that I kept bumping a chair to get him to hiss and open his mouth for the photos after he had eaten the frog. It was interesting that this green snake turned blue where the frog was located inside of him.

I believed that this snake was a harmless (not to frogs, though!) garden snake. I brought Chloe, the Rottweiler, inside so the snake could get away. It was tough to convince Frank not to kill it. El Jefe thinks that Frank may have killed it afterward anyway. I hope not. Frank said it was a bejuco, whatever that is. El Jefe says that Frank should have said bejuquillo. I looked up both of these common names without finding this snake.

After hours of research, I've identified this as a green headed tree snake (Leptophis mexicanus) which is common to Central America. Its bite is slightly venomous. Oops. Glad I didn't know that when I was taking the video.

Here is the video. I think you'll like the song, heh heh. It's "Goodbye my lover" by James Blunt.

If you don't hear the music, click on "YouTube" and that will take you to the website.
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