Before I had moved to Florida I have been collecting information about that state since my childhood. The thing with the snakes had always been the most impressive part – especially with snakes which make their way into peoples’ apartments through canalization. That’s truly hat nightmares are made of! Well, not everything in Florida is sunshine, palm trees, turquoise water and beach, of course. One has to admit there’re also many not-so-paradise-like things: namely snakes, bears, pumas, a partly very high crime rate and yes, even human trafficking.
In fact I have never – during all my time in Florida – ever seen a wildlife snake anywhere. Alligators: yes. But snakes? No. Neither in the areas around the Everglades, nor in the cities, and best of all: I have never seen a snake in my apartment or in hotel room. It was only for that one time at my favorite hotel in Orlando when the owners warned me better not to go to a place behind the stairs because poisonous snakes had been sighted there frequently. So the only real snakes that I saw in Florida were indeed in the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park behind glass.
But doesn’t mean I have never seen a wildlife snake anywhere else in the USA. I once was just climbing up a volcano at the Snow Canyon State Park in Utah when a long, dainty though, snake crossed my way. This is probably a black neck garter snake. Generally important for hiking through the wilderness: make noise! That goes for Florida, too. If you surprised the snake it could be scared and attack. But if it hears you coming it would typically withdraw from the noise. So you should always step up loudly or make noise with a stick or something. Singing and talking loudly could also help. You must never try to catch a snake or frighten it. Some snakes can also spit their poison which might cause blindness.
Beware: There are some poisonous kinds of snakes in the USA. Six of them, like the pigmy rattlesnake and the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake live in Florida. The latter causes most of the bites with severe consequences inside the USA. If you are traveling the USA, planning to be outside in nature, you should get informed how the poisonous snakes in your area look like, before. If one of them should cross your way – give it enough space and the opportunity to flee or hide. If it comes to a bite – which happens rather seldom – you’ll have to identify the snake. You must keep the wound still. Stanch the wound chiefly when the next hospital is more than 30 minutes away. Sucking or cutting open the wound is something you should not try!