Growing up in a desert in Washington State, the two biggest dangers were dehydration and rattlesnakes. (Yes, with the exception of the Spokane area, the east side of Washington is devoid of trees, with only sage brush and tumbleweeds for miles.) When hiking in the desert, we knew to carry water and avoid rocky outcroppings where rattlesnakes like to linger.
Our Florida walks and hikes have presented some interesting challenges with the dangerous animals we need to avoid. And the animals are not strictly located in wildlife refuges or away from people. They are everywhere. Alligators—on the golf course and in the small ponds in our park. Snakes (50 different types with 5 of them venomous). Even the turtles can be vicious with their snapping jaws. Being unfamiliar with the terrain here, we are not sure what signs to look for.
The picture of the snake on today’s blog is one we saw on the nature trail today. He was swimming in the water canal next to the path. The “land” snakes like to travel from branch to branch through the scrubby bush. THAT bugs the heck out of me.
And all of this wildlife is so numerous. You can walk for miles in the Washington desert without seeing a snake, but here, you see “something” every five feet in the refuge that surrounds our park. Not sure if we can ever get used to this. Hard to relax and enjoy the scenery when you are dancing around at every movement.