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Snakes or No Snakes, Safety Tips for Texas Bluebonnet Pictures

1-rattler_with_blue_bonnets_2.jpg
menoutdoors.com via imgur
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While you probably won’t find a six-foot rattler among the bluebonnets, there's still precautions you can take. ";

With spring in full swing, it's time for wildflower pictures – including photos among Texas' iconic state flower, the bluebonnet.

But something's taking the bloom off this wildflower season: images of snakes among the flowers.

1-Screen_Shot_2014-04-07_at_1.24.22_PM_1.jpg
Credit ksat.com
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An expert says this snake's neck position is a sign it's stuffed - not alive.

San Antonio's KSAT-TV recently fielded a report on a viral image of a snake among a field of bluebonnets. And on the Austin Reddit page, there's an equally frightening image of a snake lying in wait.

Both images are questionable: an expert tells KSAT-TV that the snake is probably a dead, taxidermied animal. And an Austin Redditor notes that the other image of a separate snake is several years old – and can even be found in a discussion on a popular site debunking urban legends.

That said, Texas Department of Public Safety officials have some safety reminders for anyone interested in posing with and picking bluebonnets:

  • That's right, it's legal to pick 'em:

Contrary to some beliefs, there is no law against picking wildflowers – not even bluebonnets. But there are laws against damaging or destroying rights-of-way or government property. So picking a few flowers may be okay, but don’t dig up clumps of flower-laden ground or drive onto fields.

  • Obey basic vehicle safety:

If you pull over along a roadway, make it an area without heavy traffic and be careful not to cross traffic lanes on foot. Don't trespass on private property.

  • And it should go without saying:

Check the area for critters including snakes and fire ants before you take your picture. 

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at tshaar@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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