This time of year is the worst for rattlesnakes. The snakes are coming out of hibernation and are looking for food.
WARNING! Make no sudden moves if you see one! Especially if it is coiled and the rattle is shaking. Just slowly back away and keep your eyes on the snake. The babies are the most dangerous because when they bite, they release all their poison. They haven’t learned to regulate it yet.
GO DIRECTLY TO THE ER IF BIT! Stay calm as you can as the quicker your heart beats, the faster the poison will travel through your veins.
When camping, look before you reach for something [especially if it’s underneath something else or above your head] or go hacking around in the shrubbery.
Snakes love the sun. If you go walking, wear jeans and boots or shoes. Shorts and flip-flops are suicide.
My creds? Longtime backpacker and (desert and Sierra) camper. Low altitude, more snakes; high altitude (above 10,000 feet) few or no snakes.
Bottom line: Rattlers are just as afraid of you as we are of them. Respect them, keep your distance, don’t pick one up or try to be the hero.
Indiana Jones you ain’t.
Tim S. McGlasson, Visalia