Yesterday morning my husband and I took the kids to a snake class and hike that was held at Deep Creek Preserve, located in Volusia County. The special guest speaker was Jim Duby, from Seminole County, along with his son Jeff. They were both great, very informative, and put on a great presentation.
We spent around two hours learning about various snakes, including venomous and non-venomous ones, and various snake facts. Then we took an hour long hike at Deep Creek Preserve to look for snakes. Both parts of this program were wonderful! Jim is such an expert and really knows his stuff. It was great! We learned a lot about snakes, got to see some up close, and took a nice hike. On our hike his son found a cotton mouth in the water, so we got to see one of those up close as well.
You can find nature programs that Jim provides over in Seminole County by visiting this page here.
This is probably the fourth such snake event we have taken the kids on. Why so many snake classes and events? Because what you know you tend to not fear as much. We do a lot of hiking. We also go camping. The more the kids understand snakes the less they will be afraid to get out and take a hike, and the more they will know how to react when they do come across one.
So many people have a huge fear of snakes. Personally I fear dogs more than I do snakes! If you look at the research you would see that there things that pose greater risks to you than snakes, including lightning and dogs.
According to the University of Florida there are around 37,500 snake bites each year in the U.S. Of those, 5-6 fatalies per year take place. They report you are also 9 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to die by a venomous snake. When we look at dog bites per year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are around 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. Of those, almost 900,000 require medical attention, and 31,000 people require reconstructive surgery. Plus, during 2011 there were 31 people who died in the U.S. from dog bites. So, statistically speaking we should be fearing dogs more than we fear snakes (as I do). There are over 4 million more dog bites per year than snake bites, and more people that die as a result.
Here are some pictures from the snake class we went to at Deep Creek Preserve (including raspberries we came across):