Since my close encounter with a cottonmouth snake (below) I’ve been hyper aware of anything serpent related.
News stories about invasive snake species in south Florida interest me:
And I look for opportunities to learn more about snakes just in case there’s a next time.
This past weekend the Tallahassee Museum held an informative session for folks like me. Well, mainly for folks 12 and younger, but I didn’t let that stop me.
I listened earnestly and watched carefully. The most important thing I learned was to let snakes be. Leave them alone. Give them space. Don’t crowd them. If it’s a snake like my cottonmouth (aka water moccasin), don’t get between it and a body of water. Even if you’re positive the snake isn’t venomous, don’t pick it up. Non-venomous snakes can have nasty bites that might takes months to heal.
If you’re bitten by a snake, stay calm. Try to snap a photo of it for identification purposes and then get to an emergency room. Don’t apply a tourniquet! That just exacerbates the injury.
Most of this wasn’t new information to me, but it never hurts to have a reminder. And, oh, the snakes were cool.
Look at these Banded Water Snakes
Note that the one on the right is digesting a big meal.
That’s an Eastern Indigo Snake above. These guys are endangered and non-venomous. I’m fairly certain that this is the type of snake we have living in our front garden area. Sure glad I saved him from the guys repairing our driveway!
Watch this guy, an Eastern Diamondback, who seemed as interested in us as we were in him.
This pretty guy below is a Gray Rat Snake. These are non-venomous and fairly common. They blend in perfectly with the bark of oak trees, so there’s no telling how many I pass right by every day.
So, I’m still no snake expert, but I did know the answer to one of the instructor’s questions when none of the other kids, I mean, participants did. She said that some snakes move in a concertina style and asked if anyone knew what a concertina was.
I played it cool,
But soon it was obvious no one else knew the answer, so it fell to me.
I didn’t get a gold star or anything, but that’s okay. Just knowing I was right was reward enough.