Texas Hill Country News

Going to Take Pictures in Bluebonnets? ‘Use Caution,’ Warn Experts

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Temperatures are warming across Texas as Spring sets in. Bluebonnets are blooming across the state, but if you decide to stop for some pictures, keep yourself safe from the potential hazards that go along with it.

Caleb Harris takes care of the rattlesnakes at the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels. He urges folks to use caution and common sense if they come across a snake in the wild. Harris says rattlesnakes are most active at dawn and dusk during Spring. They prefer temperatures between 73 and 84 degrees.

“Even though some can be dangerous, any snake is going to try and run to get away from a human,” he said. “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.”

The best treatment for a snake bite is quick medical attention.
Bluebonnet SnakePhoto: Flickr/Matt Goff and Jason Weingart

“There used to be, years ago, many recommendations,” said Harris. “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.”

As a Texas photographer, I have spent countless hours in the bluebonnets, while I have never seen a snake among them. There are other dangers including fire ants, bees, wasps, spiders and of course traffic.

It only takes a second for fire ants to quickly overspread something then attack.
Fire antsPhoto: Flickr/Jacob Pilich

The Texas Department of Public Safety asks that those stopping for bluebonnet photos do so in a smart manner. Not doing so could put you in danger or earn you a ticket.

For the safety of yourself and others, consider the following tips:

  • Do not stop on the highways for wildflower photos.
  • 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.

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