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Shh! Don’t Tell Anne!

To say Anne does not like any creature with too many legs or no legs at all is an understatement. While walking along Lake Tsala Apopka recently she retreated behind me pushing me forward because she spotted a four-foot long snake on the ground that we nearly stepped on.

It remained motionless even as I photographed it from all angles. “Is it alive?” Anne asks, “Here’s a stick, poke it.” The stick was about a foot long. “I’m not going to poke it with that!” I replied and I tossed the stick towards the snake to see if it moved. It did not at first, but after a few minutes it turned its head towards the stick. “It’s alive!” I declared. Then it glided on the grass  slowly and deliberately away from where I photographed it.

The snake was a harmless, yellow rat snake common here in Florida. It eats lizards, rats, mice, birds and even squirrels. It freezes when frightened which explains why it “posed” for all those pictures. The most amazing thing about this snake is that it is arboreal. It actually is adept at climbing trees, especially the cypress trees that grow here. I guess we’ll have to look over our heads now too. Shh! Don’t tell Anne! She may never go for a walk with me again!

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