When we bought this property 10 years ago I committed to being a good creekside neighbor. Part of that commitment was landscaping with native plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife. We certified our yard as a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat. Sometimes that means uncomfortable encounters with that wildlife, such as when a coyote attacked a neighbor’s pet cat in our front yard. Our dog scared off the coyote but the cat ultimately did not survive its wounds.
This weekend I was cleaning leaves from one of the front gardens when I encountered a red striped ribbon snake. I’ve seen them around the yard numerous times because they like to eat frogs and fish, which the creek provides in abundance. This snake, though, had a large toad in its tiny little mouth. It looked like the hind right leg of the toad was firmly caught. Now, snakes give me the heebie jeebies, even though intellectually I know they are beneficial creatures. I thought about interfering, but the score seemed to be Snake 1, Toad 0. I called my son Tristan out to take a look and he asked me “Who do we root for?”.
We just let them be.