Our Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Encounter

One spring evening, I set out for my walk-jog in eastern Manatee County, Florida, with my 5-year-old on her bike. We live a ways out of town and I always love it when we get to see deer, fox squirrels, Sandhill cranes, gopher tortoises and all sorts of wildlife that we are lucky to share this space with. You never know what you might see!

We were just a few minutes into our journey when we saw a pickup truck on our street slow down, then back up. I saw the unmistakable shape of a snake on the road and for a second I was afraid the driver might intend to drive over it. Fortunately, the couple in the truck reversed all the way back to where we were to let us know there was a snake up ahead. They didn’t say what kind of snake, but I appreciated the heads up.

Perhaps they thought we’d head the other way but instead we hastened our pace to get a glimpse. My snake-loving boys weren’t around so I felt obliged to catch it on video for them. It only took a glance to ascertain that it was a venomous Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. And an impressively large one at that!

Bear in mind, I zoomed in on my phone, and the sun was low so the shadows were long. It looks like I was much closer to this snake than I really was. I don’t think I got within 20 feet of it. My estimate is that it was at least 6 feet long. It was certainly the largest diamondback¬†I’ve seen in my 12 years in Florida.

And yes, the boys were in awe when they saw the video!

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