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I had never seen a rattlesnake before

My friends and I spend a lot of time biking and hiking.

We are no strangers to the wildlife that lurks in the brushes. There are few forests left in the state, and there are even fewer mountains in Florida. We spent some time on the beach or riding around the city. Living in Bradenton, Florida means we have a lot of great parks to visit. Every weekend we visit the park and we have seen more than our share of snakes, birds, lizards and alligators. I had heard that Florida was also known for having rattlesnakes, but I had never seen them. Last month, we were out hiking in the park near Bradenton, FL. We were taking pictures of some of the wildlife and I had stopped to take a picture of a woodpecker. I couldn’t get the right shot so I stepped back. When the twig snapped, I heard the rattle of the rattlesnake. I stepped back and turned around just in time to see that I was within striking distance of the rattlesnake. I never thought to raise my camera and take a picture. I simply took some steps backward and the snake slithered off into the brush. I knew that no one was going to believe me since I was lucky enough to not get any fangs in my shoes or leg. I’m not sure I would have saved my leg or my life had I been bitten out there in the wild. It’s not something I care to repeat just to prove to someone that I really did see a rattlesnake in the wild.

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