The Making of Florida Copperhead Snake
I was trailblazing with my camera gear on a landscape photography adventure through the bluffs and ravines region of the Apalachicola River basin near Bristol, Florida, an area that seems like it is more Appalachian Mountains region than the Sunshine State.
After cresting one of the large hills in the area, I was descending on the other side back towards a ravine when I found myself atop a large rock outcropping. I decided to slid on my rear off the edge of the rock to drop to the ground below, when my dangling foot hit a small branch, disturbing the previously unseen Florida copperhead snake snoozing below.
The rare copperhead, one of Florida's venomous snakes, quickly struck, luckily mistaking the branch for the intruder and leaving my sandaled foot unharmed.
After thanking my lucky stars, I found an alternate route off the ledge and circled around below the rock outcropping.
I located the Florida copperhead, which seemed to still be alert from the rude intrusion, and spent some time quietly photographing the beautiful snake - with a telephoto lens and from a safe distance, of course.
Where are Copperhead Snakes Found in Florida?
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, eastern copperhead snakes in Florida (also known as the southern copperhead) have a small range in the state - they are found only in the panhandle. The Florida copperhead snake's range includes the Apalachicola River basin, where I was, as well as in the far western tip of the state. In other words, copperhead snakes are not common in Florida.
The Florida Museum goes on to list the Florida counties where the snake's presence has been confirmed: Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties.