Thursday, November 09, 2006

Florida Snakes

A couple of weeks ago we were talking with a neighbor in a campground about the variety of snakes in Florida. We laughed it off and said we never seem to run into snakes in our home state, just out in the deserts of the West.

Well, you know what happens when you make comments like that? You start to see snakes everywhere...
This Black Racer came to visit at one of our campgrounds. He slithered up into a vacant space next to us. As long as he doesn't come into ours, no problem. A little while later we saw him crossing into the field and getting attacked by a mockingbird. Guess he got too close for comfort for the bird as well.
This Yellow Rat Snake was basking in the sun on the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail. Andy and I were riding side-by-side and had just been distracted crossing an intersection when we came upon him. I was on his tail, Andy on his head. We both had to swerve to miss him by an inch on either end. The poor guy was scared stiff. It wasn't until after taking this photo that he started to move.

The one that made us nervous was the "red on yellow will kill a fellow" - the venomous Coral Snake. Not to be confused with "red on black, ok for Jack" - the Kingsnake. Needless to say, we're always confusing the saying so when we see these red, yellow, black ringed snakes we start yelling, "how does that saying go again? aaahhh!" Anyway, I digress. We were biking on an off-road trail in Paynes Prairie when he almost ran over a Coral Snake. Andy never even saw it. I was the one behind him screaming, "snake!". With Andy's allergies and his reactions to ant bites and bee stings, I never want to see him bit by a venomous snake. Especially when we're in the woods or another remote location.

Something tells me we are going to be encountering more of Florida's snakes, so stay tuned! It's time for us to get another identification book. I just try to identify them after an encounter. We currently use this website for Florida Snake Identification.



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