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Grass snake - lunchtime

Grass snake - lunchtime
Photo Information
Copyright: Monika MvJ (thistle) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1309 W: 74 N: 3014] (9282)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-06
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4200, Nikkor ED 38-114 F/2.8-4.8
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): some blood, but it's nature, Snakes - Serpientes - Serpents [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-06-06 14:39
Viewed: 7646
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
There has to be balance in nature, so after yesterdays post with high "cute" factor today something very different.

This are two species that belong to the most disliked animals - toads and snakes.
Probably most people think that they are disgusting and awful, many are even afraid of them.
I must admit that I like snakes, but toads really aren't my favourites, but of course I'm not afraid of them.

Anyway, this is Natrix natrix (grass snake) eating Bufo bufo (common toad).

And here's the story of that photo:

This have been taken on the beach of the pond behind my house. I was walking there trying to find some d'flies whan I saw very strange scene: the boat paddle was lying on the sand, beneath it I saw a head of a toad - this wasn't so strange ;-) but on the other side of the paddle I saw long tail - so the whole looked like toad with snakes tail [unfortunatelly I wasn't quick enough to take the shot of this weird creature ;-)]
The snake saw me and got away from beneath the paddle - then I realised what's going on - he had just catched this huge toad and now he was trying to swallow it.
As you can see the toads head is much bigger than the head of the snake (he was not very large - about 70 cm in length).
I took this shot when the snake was not moving but after a while he run away to the water still having his meal in the mouth.
In my WS you can see photo of this fellow in the water.

I didn't said yet, that the toad was still alive - grass snakes aren't venomous, so they have to catch their prey and eat it without kiling.

If you find this scene to macabric, or if you are sorry for the poor toad don't worry, the snake probably get a bit to nervous, cause he "spat" the toad and swum away
[the toad swam away as well ;-)]

The snake is actually leaving in my pond. I was seeing him some times, but only once with the prey.

I think this is the best action shot I've ever taken, and though it's not the most lovely and beautiful one, I like it very much.

liquidsunshine, PDP, sAner, Signal-Womb, red45, greghume, TAZ, dew77, naki, manyee, marhowie, gerhardt, rlortie, flagman, Comandante, pat, eruyanik, Leace, uleko has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To eruyanik: My favouritethistle 1 04-24 14:52
To liquidsunshine: Dinnerthistle 1 06-06 14:57
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Critiques [Translate]


straszne z tym "lunch time" :) podoba mi sie kompozycja, kolorki:) perfect:)


An Absolutely brilliant capture Monika,
Really really good POV, Excellent detail and sharpness.
It's good to know that the toad got away, but I hope the snake has had some dinner!
Without any doubt one of the best action shots I've seen.
Thanks for posting, have a great week Monika.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-06-06 15:14]

Wow! Great capture Monika. Imagine being eaten alive! Doesn't bear thinking about. I'm glad the toad lived to fight another day. Great shot and great note, very well done.

Today a lot of people posted predation scenes, this one is impressing, I think there is some magic on what snakes do with their head. Thanks for this interesting post. Good work.

Superbe "rules of nature" photo, Monika ! I always fancied the feeding scenes, they have a certain seriousity to them, reminding you that the concepts they live by are quiet different.
I witnessed the same scene grass snake vs. toad over 15 years ago and its still vivid in my memory, no camera though, I was way too young...

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-06-06 16:00]

Wow, great shot Monika! You're very lucky to find these subjects in nature. Good details, well composed and well done on the DOF & POV. TFS!


You did a brilliant job with this Monika, what an opportune moment you caught. This is going to my favorites because its a cut above the rest. Very well done.

I agree with you - great action photo. The workshop may even be better, but only with this shot as a preamble - it helps to know the story.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-06-07 3:54]

Agree Monika - it is your best action shot for sure! I envy you to see such scene! Photo is great. Looks like duel of dinosaurus or maybe scene from Godzilla movies. I like desert mood and colours. Composition is also great. And your story completed superb post.


  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-06-07 4:25]

Amazing action shot Monica!
Details,expression on frogs face,framing and composition are wonderful.TFS....:-)

  • Great 
  • naki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 382 W: 27 N: 5] (40)
  • [2005-06-07 6:59]

Hi Monica, What a capture. Very impressing. Super details and Dof here.
Great shot,
very well done.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-06-07 10:47]

A very dramatic shot, Monica. Great capture of nature in action. The eyes on both animals are very expressive. Excellent composition. TFS. : )

Excelente captura do drama do sapa e supremacia da cobra. Detalhes interessantes e foco perfeito.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2005-06-07 15:55]

Rety, co za scena, Moniko. Twój "strzał" niczym na wojnie, zarejestrowana dramaturgia. Dobra ostrość, kolory i kompozycja.

  • Great 
  • Kaszek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 237 W: 50 N: 391] (1451)
  • [2005-06-07 16:57]

Niesamowite ujecie! Ciekawe o czym mysli teraz ta ropucha?

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-06-08 3:31]

Belle composition photographique. Jolies couleurs, bon point de vue et bonne netteté.
Interesting scene in a well done shot ! TFS.

This is awesome Monika! Maybe it's the male in me but I enjoy seeing nature in action like this. Natures way..You have an excellent POV and framing with great details and sharpness. I like it very much!!

You are to harsh in your critique of your photo. This is most lovely and beautifull. I would love to stumble upon an chance like this. Most toads excrete of foul tasting poison from their hides. I am not sure of this critter but cit could also be the reason for the snake letting go. Love this, Monika. Wish it was mine.

You can be proud of that one Monika: great action shot. One of the best live action on TN. You catched a rare moment, and did it with great skill. Great note and story too. Thanks!

Wow! great shot! You are so lucky to have such interesting places near your house where you can find such subjects. Perfect POV and composition. Really, really sharp as well. I think some snakes could have sawllowed the toad if it was dead, but a live wriggling one, a bit of a difficult job...

Wow,wonderful wildlife scane!
DOF,details and composition are excellent.
Thanks for sharing.

Incredible Monika! maybe this is the best one of your shots, not for the technical aspect but you captured such an interesting moment and scene! Great contribution! Thank you,

  • Great 
  • kb10 Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 15 W: 0 N: 29] (155)
  • [2006-06-30 4:21]

I find this picture in a theme that I found. And I totally forget it.
It's a great shot, for a bad moment (for the toad of course).
But as it said in the theme : it's nature (human are worst sometimes).


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-01-04 12:58]

Hello Monika,
This terrific shot was here before I joined and I'm so glad you drew my attention to it!
This is a brilliant shot, very close, sharp and taken from an exciting angle. I bet the snake got a mouthful of sand as well! Excellent composition!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

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