Sunday, April 15, 2012

Family Hike

We had absolutely gorgeous weather yesterday and decided it would have been criminal to remain indoors. We thought about going to Lake Crabtree or Umstead Park, but we do those all the time. I suggested we head over to Eno River State Park because I like walking over the suspension footbridge they have there.

(not our photo)

On the way to the footbridge we came across a really fascinating sight:

It's a bit tricky to tell with the lighting, but what you're seeing is a toad being swallowed by a snake. You can see the toad's head is inside the snake's mouth. In this photo the snake's head is going from about 1 o'clock to about 7 o'clock. Pretty neat stuff.

The kids were fascinated by this. Lily felt sorry for the toad, but she understood that this is how things work. I was reminded by how much effort some people put into saving various forms of wildlife when carnivores are pretty mean to other animals. The toad was obviously still alive based on its occasionally wriggling back legs, but I explained to Noah that the snake was going to win this one.

We actually got to watch the process in action too because we hadn't been at the river for more than 5 minutes before Noah announced that he had to go poo-poo. We had to walk back to the bathrooms, which gave us a chance to check out the snake again. By the time Noah had finished I would estimate that the snake had about 85% of the frog in it. Then by the time we came back as a family the snake was gone.

I guarantee that the kids will remember this hike more than some of the others we've had. I will be shocked if Noah doesn't mention it when we go hiking in the mountains this summer.