AUSTIN (KXAN) — Recent warm temperatures aren’t the only signs spring has sprung. Texas wildflowers, including the bluebonnets, are in full bloom. If you plan to stop and snap some pictures, keep your safety in mind.
“You have to remember you are out in nature and even in the most beautiful flowers there are other creatures that live there such as ants and even the occasional snake,” said Lucky Lemieux, Austin resident.
Caleb Harris cares for the rattlesnakes at the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels. He says common sense and some caution go a long way when you come across snakes in nature.
“Even though some can be dangerous, any snake is going to try and run to get away from a human,” said Caleb Harris, reptile department manager. “Really if you just make some noise, pay attention to where you’re going and don’t walk around in flip flops in tall grass at night then you should be alright.”
Harris says rattlesnakes prefer temperatures between 73 and 84 degrees. They are most active at dawn and dusk during the spring and fall.
A snake bite needs quick medical care.
“There used to be, years ago, many recommendations,” Harris said. “Everything from cutting the wound open, to sucking the venom out, to icing it, to tourniquets…all kinds of things have been tried but really none of those have been proven out to be particularly helpful.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety asks that those taking bluebonnet pictures be smart on the side of the road. Not following the rules of the road could earn you a ticket.
For the safety of yourself and others, consider the following tips:
- Signal before leaving or entering the roadway.
- Park off the roadway (off of improved shoulders), parallel to the road in the direction of traffic.
- Don’t cross lanes of traffic on foot to get to the flowers.
- Obey signs that prohibit parking on a particular stretch of roadway.
Erin Arnold with Sweetleigh Photography has these tips for great looking bluebonnet photos:
- The best times to go take photos are early in the morning or later in the evening. You don’t want harsh sun.
- You want the sun behind or to the side of your subject as to not get those really squinty faces and to reduce harsh shadows.
- Make sure everyone is in a good mood!
- Bring the camera down to your subject’s eye level–sort of point the camera down a bit so that you get the bluebonnets in the background and not the cars on the street or the ugly fence or whatever could be back there.
- Definitely watch for snakes and ants!
- Have fun! Not all of the shots have to be posed. Take photos of the kids running in the bluebonnets or smelling them, etc.
- Be nice to our state flower. Try to take photos where others have already made a space so that others may still enjoy them after you leave!
- Bluebonnets do get overrun with weeds after a while so the sooner you go take those photos the better as to avoid having a bunch of weeds in your photos.