Showdown with nature: the toad and snake

This afternoon, the Siamerican happened upon his first showdown with nature this year, and in several years for that matter.

Walking out onto his back porch approaching sun down, from the corner of his eye, he noticed something.

Upon closer examination, it began to take form. A frog.

No, a toad. This one was blending in well with the dirty beige, textured wall coating of the house, but not good enough.

I’ve seen this toad, or perhaps another one similar to this one, hiding out in the outdoor shower pipe drain, but never climbing up onto the wall like this. Ah well, Carry on.

Turning to walk into the outdoor shower cubicle, reflex resulted in the Siamerican stumbling backward a few steps — away from danger.

His senses ultimately gathered and realized he had been privilege to yet another wildlife spotting.

Indeed, it was a snake that was just lounging right behind the door. Had reflexes not been working, he certainly would have stepped right into its bite.

Unlike brief spottings in the past, this particular snake was not slithering through grass or sneaking its way into a hole.

Years ago, the Siamerican recalls hiking around hilly and tree-rich open space during a family camping trip, somewhere south of Cripple Creek in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

He and his sister had crossed the path of a rattle snake, lounging in its spot, holding its ground. Its rattle was sufficient warning to adjust the walking course, and that was that. No need to sate any curiousity or stick around.

Now some two decades later, the Siamerican’s path crossing with nature  is not privileged to simply change courses.

The snake was indeed lounging, perhaps waiting for a toad to happen back into its path — perhaps just enjoying the relatively cool stones beneath its skin.

Still as it was, not even tongue action, perhaps it was preying on the toad.

Was it real?

The next reaction was to close the door of the cubical. Unless this creature can climb vertically and quickly up the wall, this was perhaps the safest option.

Next, he was keen to take advantage of the obvious advantages available in this information and telecommunication age: internet.

The snake, with its brilliant colored back side would not be hard to locate on google or youtube.

Without doubt, this was the exact same species as the one caught and documented on this and this video, with references to Phuket.

A red necked keelback Thailand rainbow snake. Originally thought to be harmless, but recently found out to be deadly to humans indeed. One 12 or 14 year old boy in Phuket recently was fighting for his life in ICU for two weeks after being bitten by one of these.

 

as well as this one right here

 

After being informed by the two videos, the Siamerican weighed his options and concluded that the risk was too high too allow such a snake sneaking away and eventually into the house, the place where friends and family must ultimately habituate.

Coexistence with such a species was not on the cards.

Perhaps, if the Siamerican was a confident snake charmer or handler, or even had the right tools and containers or bags, he could’ve caught the snake and drove out to release it somewhere that has yet to be completely overrun by humans.

Though such sites are becoming rarer in Phuket , such a solution would only be a delaying of the inevitable fate for such a beautiful yet deadly species.

With regret and hindsight, that would have been the most ideal scenario, but lacking the tools and skills to confidentially and safely initiate such a task would dictate a final showdown driven by raw instinct: “Me or you,” was all that ran through his head as he planned the first and last contact with his new found friend and enemy.

After half a dozen of failed launch attacks with spoiled mangoes from a safe angle up high, looking down over the wall, the snake proved indeed to be alive, with its tongue finally coming out of its mouth, as if it needed to get its venom prepped.

When one mango nearly hit its mark, the snake turned the back of its colorful neck and head completely towards the Siamerican, most likely as a defense mechanism to show its predator that it was indeed a deadly prey to be messing with.

Or perhaps, it was just saying “Look how beautiful I am, look at the beautiful colors of nature that you’re going to destroy.”

It was the point of no return. Stakes too high.

In the end it was a brick and squeegy that ended the snakes life.

Perhaps the toad is thankful, and if it wants to go back and  hide out in the drain pipe again, that would be okay.