Planning a trip to Florida this winter? Be careful when you’re outside
It’s aFact is that aNew Yorkers are leaving in large numbers thisThey are impressively large and represent a significant portion of the state. Many of them are headed for Florida, the “Sunshine State,” either as a nice place toFor more information, visit aFew weeks, or as long as aPermanenter Place to live.
And I’ll be the first toRecognize that FloridaIt has aLot toOffer warmth and sunshine to newcomers, especially in winter.
Newcomers are welcome toThe state, especially those who are like toYou should be aware of the hazards that can occur in many areas of this otherwise stunning state when you hike, canoe, kayak, or camp. They can be dangerous to deadly toIt can all be deadly and even in close proximity, it is possible to avoid them all.
I’ll begin with the flora. In almost all wooded areas, the usual suspects poison sumac, poison oak and poison ivy are found in sufficient numbers. All of them are harmless and not deadly, unless you have an allergy. toThese can lead to a miserable rash that can make your life difficult. Knowing what they look for can help you save. aLots of misery.
If you want to continue with the flora theme, there are two types of trees you should avoid. One can kill hikers and the other can cause death.
The manchineel is the most dangerous tree. It is also well known as the “tree of death” and may actually be the most deadly tree in the world. Its bark, wood, small limbs, sap and leaves are all deadly poisons.
Even the smoke from the burning of wood can cause death. Spanish explorers were the first to call the fruits of this tree the “little apple of death.” And with good reason. One bite of the fruit, even if you don’t eat any, can still prove fatal.
It is, however, very limited toThe extreme Southeast FloridaThese trees are now gone. Never touch or sit beneath a tree if you see one.
The poisonwood tree can be just as deadly. Metopium Toxiferum can be found on the northernmost Key islands toThe southern tip of the state. You will find them along the trails that lead to the Big Cypress or Everglades.
The easiest way is the obvious. toThese are the ones to look for toLook at the leaves. If you are unsure, please take a look at the leaves. aTrees and shrubs in or near the swamp areas look like they are in dire need of watering.
Let’s get on with the fauna portion of thisThis is because of the many dangerous reptiles and amphibians, as well as lower-order lifeforms.
I’ll begin with the obvious. There are aMany alligators are found throughout the Southeast U.S. Florida is one of the “hubs” for these big, ugly reptiles. Even the babies can get infected aIf bitten, the person should be treated immediately. From two weeks after their hatching, they can carry a lot more bacteria.
However, it is the large gators that are the biggest problems. aThere are a lot of large alligators. You can find them almost anywhere. Many people have found them in their homes, garages, and under carsports. They can also be found in swamps, creeks or ponds. They are aPotential hazards wherever they might be located
Let’s take this example: aA woman and her friends were fishing at the bank of aBackwater slue and having alaughter and snapping photos. She was suddenly interrupted by one of her best friends. aLonger distance photo. I suddenly began shouting at the fisherwoman toGet back on the water quickly.
Fortunately the angler got up and moved back quickly and didn’t ask why. Her friend apparently saw. aLarge alligator came up on angler, and was just two or three feet away from her left foot. The estimated size of that creature was tobe between eight and nine feet in length.
It isn’t only alligators that are dangerous to humans. FloridaIt has aThere is a large and growing population of feral or wild hogs. They can be more dangerous than gators due to their willingness to attack humans without provocation when they are in the right mood.
Big boars can have really nasty tusks. Mixing aThe critter that always seems to be there toPlease be in aTrouble is certain when you have a bad mood and sharp teeth to follow.
Three poisonous snakes are found in the Sunshine State: the eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, and the western diamondback rattlesnakes. aThere are a few other lesser rattler species, cottonmouth water moccasins and coral snakes. These are the troublemakers.
Coral snakes are generally shy. They come out of their holes at night most often and are both shy and docile around humans. They are rear-fanged snakes similar to cobras which makes biting difficult. aFingers are unlikely to be found. Their mouths are small. Keep in mind that their mouths are small. aTheir skin has a red ring aYellow ring or snake has aAvoid black snout
The other two could be dangerous. to humans. Water moccasins and rattlers, which actually are two species, are often short-tempered and easy to handle. toGet irritated. Both species carry large quantities of venom glands. Adults from either species can inflict severe injuries or death on adult men. Medical treatment is required if anyone gets “hit” by any species of poisonous snake.
Southerners now have another snake species. Florida. Burmese Pythons have established themselves around the everglades. They are quickly moving towards Tampa and other populated areas. And they can be dangerous, even more so than most people believe.
Pythons are one close critter toPerfect killing machines. A large specimen can reach 12 feet. One was found in FloridaIt measured over 15 feet in length. The record? toDatum a17-foot female with 70 eggs in her whenShe was captured.
But don’t be fooled because smaller pythons as short as 7 feet are responsible for injuries and (aBoth children and adults die very few times. The pythons also disrupt (and destroy) much of the unique native fauna. toThe south Florida habitat.
I have only named aFew are the most dangerous. But thisDeep-south has a lot more problems toWith.
Iguanas large and green are available aMany parts of the state have been infested by large, ugly lizards, some measuring nearly five feet long. They are herbivores and eat local vegetation. Their nights are often spent high in trees that they can reach, which poses the greatest risk. whenThe nights get very cold, and the lizards begin to move out of their tree roosts.
There have been several sightings of the green anaconda in the Sunshine State. Some were even considered to be endangered. to be “around” 14 to 17 feet long. The longest known reliable specimen of this species was over 20 feet in their native habitat, South America. Unreliable reports also point out that one of the largest known specimens was well over 20 feet in length. aThe specimen was mentioned toBe over 35 feet in length. I don’t believe that one, but …
FloridaIt has aCane toads are gaining in popularity. These huge critters can weigh up to four pounds to nine pounds. They have extremely poisonous glands behind the eyes. Dogs and other animals that eat these glands are often left with fatal injuries. aIt can take several hours for the symptoms to disappear, and there is no cure. Even the tadpoles can be toxic.
This is not all. aA partial list of wildlife dangers that could be caused by human activity can be found here Florida. You can access a complete list of feral and hazardous wildlife on the FloridaCommission on Fish and Wildlife Conservation. The list is endless. aIt is also a long one.
Contact outdoor columnist Len Lisenbee at [email protected]