Initially we thought it was a young Cottonmouth…. Being near the water, and with the surrounding wetlands and fields. We’ve seen a few of them and their skins on our hikes through the Florida flatwoods and swamps — which is why I always wear my boots when we’re out and about! It’s their land, after all. I’m thankful to visit, each and every time.
But we realized it was far too bright, even for an infant Cottonmouth — besides, this was an adult (this realization reached after the human male jumped excitedly over the embankment to get a closer look). I researched it later, as I had honestly never seen one, in all my years here. It’s a Corn snake — otherwise known as a Red Rat snake, apparently quite common. The term “Corn snake” — dating as far back as the mid- to late 17th century — arose when southern farmers stockpiled their harvested ears of corn, attracting rodents. The rodents in turn attracted these snakes.
Corn snakes are found throughout the Southeastern and Central US, and are known to be extremely docile — not biting easily, and not aggressive — making them “ideal” pet snakes (boo). Averaging 3.9 – 6 feet, they’re considered a moderate-sized snake, and prefer habitats such as overgrown fields, trees, palmetto flatwoods, and abandoned buildings and farmlands. They host a wide variety of color and pattern variations, as well. I’m still in disbelief that I haven’t seen one of these lovelies on any of our hikes — they’re pretty hard to miss.