Beware of fire ants, other dangers in bluebonnet fields

Austin

Easter weekend is here and some families will take this time as an opportunity to gather and take photos in the bluebonnet fields across our area, but experts want to warn people before they head out. 

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s longtime photographer Earl Nottingham has been capturing moments in the bluebonnets fields for about 40 years. He says he’s witnessed everyone at the fields — from babies a few months old to senior citizens. 

“Taking family photos in bluebonnets is a tradition that goes back generations in Texas,” Nottingham said.

However, he wants to make sure they are taking precautions.

“Primarily, it’s accessing land,” he said, as some properties are private. He says avoid crossing or jumping over fences and, if possible, don’t pull over on busy highways, where bluebonnets usually grow, to ensure your safety. 

He says finding a public park is the best option to avoid any problems. 

Nottingham says the biggest thing people should keep an eye out for is fire ants.

“You’re going to run into them so be careful where you walk,” he said. “Especially when you sit down, that can ruin your day.”

“Oh yeah, I probably do have a bite,” said Brianna Yoakum who was there with her best friend, Emma Lightfoot, to take pictures together. 

Nottingham says it’s important to watch out for other insects and bugs as well as poison ivy. 

“Remember leaves of three, let them be,” he said. “Stay away from those plants.”

And, as far as snakes go Nottingham says “chances are you’re not going to encounter one, but always look down and watch where you’re stepping.”

If you do encounter a snake, Nottingham says back off quickly and quietly. 

“You’ll probably scare them just as much as they scare you,” he said. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austin-Travis County

More Austin-Travis County News

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

More Coronavirus Live Blogs

Trending Stories

Don't Miss