#NotesFromTheRiver – Rattlesnakes on Parade: Watch Your Step

Finished today’s #NotesFromTheRiver post, and hope some of you will check it out. You don’t have to enjoy snakes as much as I do to understand it’s a good idea to recognize any that might be dangerous. πŸ™‚

#NotesFromTheRiver – Rattlesnakes on Parade

29 thoughts on “#NotesFromTheRiver – Rattlesnakes on Parade: Watch Your Step

  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    You are going to have to make a slight detour through the everglades to get to the heart of this blog post.. When you get to Marcia Mears’s blog you are going to find a photograph of a very large rattlesnake.. beneat that click on Rattlesnakes on parade and you find yourself in Florida with a master class on venomous snakes of the region with loads of photographs and detailed descriptions of their appearance and propensity to bite you! This is scary stuff.. Marcia clearly loves them…. personally I would wear thigh high boots and wear thick gloves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not quite as scary as it sounds, Sally. If it were, people wouldn’t be moving here by the kajillions. πŸ˜€ We do have a lot of wooded and swampy areas where various forms of wildlife thrive, including snakes. But they aren’t in every yard or doorway. However, having said that, if you have a house that backs up to the woods, you can expect visitors now and then. Best to know whether they are dangerous or not.

      BTW, central Florida is a long way from the Everglades. (A full day’s drive, at least). And a lot of our wildlife is unique to our area, though the diamondback rattlesnake is found pretty much throughout the state. But I look for snakes everywhere I go, and I’ve only seen them a very few times in the last 50 years, and I used to hike extensively. They’re there, but they try their best to avoid people. And I’ve never had one in any of my yards. I do have some beautiful black racers that live in my garden and they are most welcome. Completely harmless, and death to some things that aren’t. πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for sharing, and I do hope some of your followers enjoy the post. It was a fun one to write. πŸ˜€ ❀

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      • Thanks for the reassurances Marcia… still not sure you could convince me… I did attempt to overcome my fear of snakes at a team building weekend when a guy brought in an enormous python. It was laid across our shoulders and we were assured it had been fed recently and was very loving.. It certainly was and was determined to give me a very special hug……it didn’t help! But other wild animals do not bother me a bit.. Love looking at the photographs and reading about them… fabulous post. xxxx

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        • That’s okay, Sallyl Not everyone will love snakes like I do (they are VERY interesting, and have made so many adaptations to a life without legs), but I do think people should be able to recognize the ones they need to stay far away from. If you know the dangerous ones in this area, then you at least don’t have to have to fear for your well-being if you see a harmless one pass by.

          Hope you’ll explore some of the other posts on the blog, too, when time allows. I’ve tried to come up with some interesting ones on birds and other wildlife. Thanks again for sharing this one! πŸ™‚ ❀

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  2. Wow Marsh, thanks for the education. I admit, I don’t like snakes and don’t much care what color they are I’d run for my life LOL. But I so appreciated the education on them and learning the difference between venomous and poisonous. πŸ™‚ ❀

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    • I’m happy you found something to take from the post, Deb. I knew it wouldn’t be your cup of tea, and as I say, I don’t expect everyone to enjoy snakes as much as I do. But if you live where they might show up, I think it’s important to know whether or not they are dangerous. So that’s the most important thing I can offer to folks in this area. πŸ˜€

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      • Absolutely Marsh. Just because we don’t like something that could prove to be a danger to us someday doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn about it! Excellent teachings my friend. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Robbie. One of the reasons I decided to write a Florida series was so I could use some of my experiences gained from hiking, canoeing, and working with the Audubon Society. Several of the things that happened in SG were real life events for me, like the turtle dropping out of the tree and landing in the canoe with a sound like a gunshot. πŸ™‚ Thankfully, though, in all my poking around on the river, I never turned up a human skull! 😯 πŸ˜€

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  3. Marcia, I can only surmise it is what you are used to and learn to know.
    I would certainly freeze if I was confronted with the snakes you mention.
    The most dangerous here is Adder and that I have only seen properly once.
    I stayed on the Florida coast not too long ago and happily swam in the ocean. Later was told there were sharks….now you tell me there were snakes. 😊 .
    miriam

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    • The adder has a very potent venom from what I’ve heard, and I can honestly say that most people who live here in Florida have never seen any of our venomous snakes, even once. While they can pop up in suburban yards that are close to wooded areas they normally inhabit, they honestly don’t do so with enough frequency to be a problem. I’m much more leery of sharks, myself. I’ll go ON the water, but I don’t go IN it. Nope. I don’t swim in any body of water that isn’t enclosed in turquoise concrete, thanks. πŸ˜€ (For one thing, once I’m in the ocean, I’m in THEIR environment, where I am at a distinct disadvantage.)

      But the point of the post is that the possibility of seeing a snake along a trail or while camping, etc, is there–which is true in pretty much any state in the U. S.–and I just think people should know how to recognize which ones are dangerous. And that the best course of action is to back away. (BTW, I think your adders with their interesting zigzag markings are very pretty. But I wouldn’t touch one. πŸ˜€ )

      Florida is a subtropical climate, and as such, there are definitely places where dangerous critters can be found. But it doesn’t happen with enough frequency to discourage very many folks.

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  4. Love this, Marcia – especially the poisonous vs venomous, and another stunning leucistic specimen. Our wildlife in Wales seems rather less – er – wild! We once found a grass snake coiled up inside the house on the door mat in a pool of light. We left it there to show our children. They weren’t amused and so I went to remove it armed with an empty box and a glove. It had warmed up by now and was a little livelier but when I went to pick it up a spider dropped onto its head and I shrieked and dropped it…
    (No harm came to the children, the snake or the spider, but two out of the three were banished to the garden.)
    I feel a little sorry now for the ‘rattlers’ that were demonised and despatched in all those old westerns. The implication was that they were targetting poor, defenceless humans and deserved to die whereas the hero could have saved the girl and a bullet by simply keeping out of its way.
    :ookomg forward to the next of these!
    Trish πŸ™‚

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    • Yeah, a lot of rattlesnakes had to die in the name of art, didn’t they? (Hopefully, none were really shot, but that long ago, who knows?)

      See, I would be much more upset by the spider than the snake, too. They are the one, normally harmless thing that I can’t stand to have near me. I make Mark take them outside, if they show up in the house, rather than kill them, because they have important work to do. But I do NOT like them. I think it’s all those legs! Why can’t they just inch along on their bellies like snakes, and then I’d probably find them interesting. πŸ˜€

      I suspect Florida IS a bit wilder or closer to nature than some areas in your part of the world. At least in the sense of snakes, alligators, bears, and such, for sure. It’s the climate. Very reptile and tropical bird friendly, here. But I STILL would give anything to visit Wales, Yorkshire, Scotland, and the like! And not ONLY because there are men in kilts to be ogled . . . er . . . SEEN . . . in some of those places. πŸ˜€

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    • What??? You think built-in infrared vision would be a bad thing??? I’m imagining all the fun I could get up to with that! πŸ˜€ Glad you enjoyed the post, Tina. I’ve been the blogger for the St. Johns River Eco Tours website for about a year and a half, and I’ve covered lots of topics in that time. It’s always fun! I really enjoyed this one, and am looking forward to next week’s. Then I’ll likely swing back towards birds or other wildlife. We’ll see. πŸ˜€ ❀

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    • I remember you talking about a snake (boa? python?) in your bathtub, once. At least, I THINK I remember that. (I make things up, you know. πŸ˜€ ) I’ve never kept a pet snake because my first husband was terrified of them. (Picture the typical cartoon woman standing on a chair yelling “EEEEEEK!” Could be one of the reasons he was a FIRST husband.) My second husband has no strong feelings for or against, but he doesn’t try to kill any of them. But the biggest reason I’ve never kept them, is I’ve been told snakes are happier with live food, and I was never able to bring myself to do that. I’d watch that rat shivering in a corner for about 30 seconds before I’d rescue him, and soon, I’d have more rats than snakes! 😯

      I’m thinking that may be different now as I know some people feed them frozen mice and rats, but until they come up with a nice bag of dry snake kibble, I’ll probably not have any. Besides, the cats would be camped on top of the tank all the time, just waiting for the right moment. And the dachshunds would stand there barking at it all day long, too. Gleep.

      Glad you enjoyed the poisonous vs venomous bit. I found that wonderful graphic on the SnakeBuddies site some years ago, and they told me to feel free to share it far and wide, so I do. (It’s in several of my slide presentations, too.) It’s a great image, huh? And such a good way to remember the difference.

      Glad you enjoyed the post! πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • You aren’t imagining things – it was a Thai python in out bathtub – she liked to swim regularly πŸ˜€
        As to food, yes, frozen rats, mice and chicks are all acceptable, though not as desirable (to the snake!).
        We also kept 4 small snakes – water snakes, garter snakes and another one I can’t recall, that really liked fish. We used to do the rounds once a week of the local pet shops and they would give us all the dying fish from their tanks (fish do that, a lot). We’d put them in the snakes’ water bowl (which was big enough for them to swim in). They could then happily fish for themselves and I could feel okay about it as the fish were going to die anyway, and this was quicker!

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        • I remember now, thanks. And I also remember looking up about the frozen food, so that I could add that to Swamp Ghosts with Lester Purvis and his albino snakes. I just had a senior moment. And I do love your clever idea with the fish. But I think my days of any pets beyond cats are over. When the dachshunds go to the Great Lizard Hunting Ground in the Sky, we aren’t planning on having any more dogs. But I can’t live without cats. Or a least not happily. πŸ™‚ Snakes are so interesting, though, and very, very tempting. Probably, however, I will just continue to enjoy the black racers that live in my garden. I do love them! πŸ™‚ (We are kindred spirits where these guys are concerned, for sure.)

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