Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hunger satisfied

In one of my blogs on April 13, 2007, I wrote about the discovery of a boa constrictor next door who had caught a ching-ching, the local black bird.

Well almost two years later, about in the same spot, our worker heard a commotion set up by the ching-chings in the huge mango tree and went to investigate.  He found a boa who had captured and killed a small ching-ching and was in the process of swallowing his meal.  He came to the house and got my husband who grabbed his camera and went to take photos.

Once a boa begins to devour his meal it takes, depending upon the size of the prey, 45 minutes or more to turn it into the right position for swallowing and then slowly expand their jaws to take in the whole bird.  The snake can be moved around, picked up and repositioned for the camera during the feeding period.  One bird will feed a boa for a considerable length of time and he is not about to give up his hard fought for meal, therefore they put up with the disturbance.  This particular snake was about 5-5 1/2 feet long.

I am not particularly afraid of snakes and I will "touch" the small whip snakes we have around here.  However, my husband wanted me to hold the snake for a photo but I declined his offers knowing that these creatures have strong muscles and one move through his body while in my hand would probably send me running!  

The photos here do not show the beautiful colors of the boa as did the ones he took back in April 2007.  It was amazing to discover the beautiful iridescent colors of their scales.

This photo is of one of the local whip snakes that my husband was "messing about" with in order to take his photo.  He (the snake) is not happy!

We try not to disturb the local creatures that live around our home, the exception being ants and roaches!  When we discover a huge scorpion in our bodega, my husband will collect it in a jar and release it in a wooded area.  They eat tarantulas and many other creepy crawly creatures, so we never kill them.  We have had little pocket possum-like creatures actually get into our house and take up residence.  We had to trap them and each and every time they were caught, my husband would release them back into the wild.  While I would tell him that he needed to take them further away as I'm sure they thought it was all a game and would head back to house the minute he turned his back, he disagreed.  However, the population of pocket possums took quite a while to eradicate.

We did settle our "domesticated animal" problem at last.  We finally got tired of cows and horses coming on to our property, destroying landscaping, throwing the dogs into a frenzy and, generally, making a mess.  We strung barbed wire across the front of the beach using the palm trees for posts.  Problem solved!  That is, until the barbed wire rusts!

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