Spring time is here! Which means flowers are blooming and it’s the perfect time to take those famous Texas Bluebonnet pictures.
Spring also means all those little critters that were out of sight and out of mind during the winter are back out and about.
So, even though the Bluebonnet fields are a prime picture taking location this time of year, it’s also a prime place for creatures like rattlesnakes to hide in and get out of the sun.
However, Jennica Lambert with the Riverbend Nature Center said much of the fear surrounding the slithering reptiles is just fear of the unknown.
“Snakes aren’t inherently aggresive,” she said. “They’re not going to run after you, you are Godzilla.”
Rattlesnakes, however, will lash out if they feel threatened.
Dr. Rob Parkey said he had warned his daughter, Alex, about the danger of rattlesnakes, but that didn’t stop her from a bite after accidentally stepping on one several years ago.
“A kid is a kid, and are they going to 100% of the time pay attention to their surroundings? Not always,” he said. “It only takes that half a second of being in the wrong place at the wrong time to sustain a significant snake bite.”
His daughter was 10 at the time, and Dr. Parkey was the ER doctor on duty in Henrietta when she was brought in.
Luckily, they had the anti-venom on hand to treat her immediately, but Dr. Parkey still issues a warning to parents about those Bluebonnet fields.
“With cover like a Bluebonnet patch, that is an area where a snake could very easily be hiding, and you’d never see it until you’re right up on top of it,” Dr. Parkey said.
The biggest thing to remember is that North Texas is just as much their habitat as it is ours, so keep your eyes and ears open.
“Usually, not always, but usually a rattlesnake will use that rattle to let you know that they are getting uncomfortable and that they are present,” Animal Control Supervisor Mandi Davis said.
So, if you’re dead set on getting that classic Bluebonnet picture, check carefully before walking into the patch.
If you do come across any kind of snake, try not to make a sudden movement. Instead, back away slowly and leave it alone.