Thanks for the warning .. never seen one up here but when I lived in South Florida I became acquainted as I went swamp trompin in the glades a lot. I usually see black snakes, copper heads and water moccasins up this way and lots of garter snakes. We've had an unprecedented explosion of anoles this year and I am seeing a lot of cranky black snakes - I think anoles are their favorite food. I always keep my broom handy when I'm venturing in probably snake hideouts. Like you I don't like to kill them but will beat the crap out of them with the broom if they get too close.
not trying to scare anyone...just remind everyone that snakes are out and about and in the case of a Coral Snake, digging down into the soil or mulch, or lifting a pot, could surprise both you and the snake.
No coral snakes up here either, but my husband saw a 5' rattlesnake coiled beneath a bedroom window where I'm safekeeping an unsocialized cat and her six 4 week old kittens. The window was cracked about an inch where the snake was coiled and rattling very loudly. In fact, the rattle was so loud, my husband heard it from inside. I have many outdoor cats who are always killing poor lizards and geckos, and I'm sure they went after this snake, before realizing it wasn't a safe snack. My husband is a big city guy who won't knowingly get close to a snake, and I was already asleep, so the monster is still somewhere out there. The mere thought sends chills down my spine!
I find brooms leave a lasting impression on snakes .. doesn't really hurt them no matter how hard you hit them and it's a good defensive weapon. Haven't tried a broom on a rattler yet but water moccasins and copperheads usually take no more than 2 wacks to get them going in the other direction. Black snakes take a really good beating before they'll leave unless they've met me before and in that case they just turn around and leave the minute they see me with my broom.
i'll take all the black snakes i can get. i never see a venomous snake around here when the black snakes are present. my mom was always relieved when a big one took up residence in our barn (in missouri). the copperheads got out of there fast.
i hate that our little heidi is hell bent on killing every black snake that comes onto the property...sigh. the darn things hug the house line and sooner or later end up in the back yard where she is waiting.
here she is with her "brother", jasper. heidi is the little tan one.