The weather calls people and snakes alike to the outdoors, encounters with snakes become inevitable. California has a variety of snakes, most of which are benign. The exception is California’s only native venomous snake - the rattlesnake.
California rattlesnake species include the northern Pacific rattlesnake (in northern California), and the Western Diamondback, Sidewinder, Speckled rattlesnake, Red Diamond rattlesnake, Southern Pacific, Great Basin rattlesnake and the Mojave rattlesnake (all found in Southern California). Though rattlesnakes are dangerous if provoked, they also provide humans with a tremendous service ? they eat rodents, other reptiles, and insects, and are in turn eaten by other predators.
The dos and don’ts in snake country:
First, know that rattlesnakes are not confined to rural areas. They have been found near urban areas, in river or lakeside parks, and at golf courses. Be aware that startled rattlesnakes may not rattle before striking defensively. There are several safety measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of startling a rattlesnake.
• Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas. Wear hiking boots.
• When hiking, stick to well-used trails and wear over-the-ankle boots and loose-fitting long pants. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
• Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering around in the dark. Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
• Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.
• Be careful when stepping over the doorstep as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
• Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
• Do not handle a freshly killed snake, it can still inject venom.
• Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Children are naturally curious and will pick up snakes.
Dog Bane Plant
Common and Scientific Names: Dogbane is the common name of the plant:
Apocynum cannabinum. In Latin, Apocynum means "Away dog!" and cannabinum means
What Does Dogbane Look Like? Dogbane has
thin reddish stems that grow in spindly clumps up to three feet tall. When
dogbane is cut, the stems ooze a thick, milky liquid. The leaves of Dogbane
grow opposite from one another, and sometime three or more leaves grow in from
one place. Dogbane leaves are shaped like a spear-point, and have smooth
edges. On the top the leaves are smooth and waxy; underneath they have downy
white hairs. Tiny white, cup shaped flowers are in clusters at the top
of stems. Dogbane flowers in late spring through the summer. Many small
insects, such as bees and flies, pollinate the flowers. Dogbane seeds have white
hairs and are found in two, long thin pods that hang downwards.
Where is Dogbane Found? Dogbane habitat is
found in moist areas, near rivers or streams, or along ditches. Warning! Dogbane
is poisonous when fresh do not try to make string with fresh dogbane!
Native Uses: Dogbane is an important plant
to the Eastern Pomo because it is one of the few plants which cordage is made
from. The twines cordage was used to make dance nets, dowry bags, tump lines for
carrying baby baskets, and other uses.
But why bring it up? The
Native Plant Nursery has about 80 tap roots and will be using them for future
Some of the RREC projects
Hitch Monitoring Native Plant Nursery
Tribal Roads Repair