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.
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.