It all started out innocently enough.  A lovely Spring hike with the Carson family.  I wanted to scout a new location and Julie was kind enough to be my guide.

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 2.0, 1/6400, ISO 125

I didn’t get the petti/poodle skirt memo.  Apparently, that’s what cool girls wear to go hiking.  I also didn’t get the backpack memo for Brayden.  Because when you go hiking with the Carsons you need to bring a backpack full of books, tambourines, and magnetic drawing boards.  All standard stuff you need for hiking, right?  Luckily for Brayden the Carson girls are all great sharers so he had a book to read on our little break.

F 2.0, 1/1600, ISO 125

Minutes after this picture was taken we hard our first encounter with a snake.  A rattle snake.  A baby rattle snake.  Which, are the most dangerous.  Everyone passed by it and Brayden, who was right behind me, noticed it.  How we all passed it and no one got bit I will never know.

I was a bit freaked out, but we forged on.  We threw some rocks in the creek.  Read some more books.  Drew some more pictures.  And then decided to head back.

The big kids ran ahead of us.  I was frantically scanning the ground the entire way back while trying to still be a cool mom and not freak my kid out and make him scared of nature.  Just inches away from Julie’s foot was the daddy rattle snake.  I don’t even remember what I said, or if I made a sound or what.  I tried to grab Julie, but ended up grabbing Shane in the Ergo.  I yanked them back as the snake recoiled and started rattling.  It was close.  Way too close for my liking.  3 of our kids again passed this snake.  How did any of them not step on it???  I totally have PTSD from this.  Kind of like the time that we got chased by a mountain lion.  Or when a freak gust of wind almost killed Kennedy in the mountains earlier this year.  I keep replaying it in my head over and over again.

Lesson of the day – be careful when you’re out in nature with your kids or clients.  Always put safety first.  A picture is so not worth anyone getting hurt.

PS I also somehow ended up with cellulitis.

I think this was all a sign that maybe I shouldn’t go hiking for awhile…


  1. Chelle says

    Holy cow.

    I don’t do snakes. And rattle snakes?!

    No wonder you have PTSD from your hiking trips!
    Chelle´s last blog post ..Beautiful Dancer…

  2. Molly says

    Any chance you’ll give up the location so I DON’T go there? LOL. Snakes scare the bageezus out of me!!

  3. Marisa says

    Holy cow. I got stressed out just reading this post. Glad you’re all safe. And there’s a lot to be said for boring suburbia!! :)

  4. OH crap. I totally am shaken just by reading this. I’m in the Carlsbad area and I feel like every time we go on a “hike” I hear rattling. I’ve been TERRIFIED of snakes my whole life but seeing the signs “Warning Rattlesnakes”…..have done nothing to relieve my anxiety. Last weekend I had a photo shoot at a park where there are such signs. The little girl I was shooting was an “explorer” and wanted nothing to do with pictures just, picking up lizards, going off the path…..into piles of leaves, brush where those horrible things hang out. The mom wanted me to follow her and document and I was thinking the whole time….”I don’t get paid enough for this”. Holy cow….glad you guys are safe.

  5. Andrea M. says

    Good lord! My husband goes on 10 mile hikes in the Yorba Linda area and he always takes pictures of what he sees. Yesterday it was a mountain lion. A FREAKIN MOUNTAIN LION!! He has come across snakes & tarantulas as well. Just always keep your eye out round these parts ;)

  6. kristen says

    I’m just glad to know that I’m not the only one that gives second thoughts to all the amazing locations that I **could** be shooting. I’m in NW Arkansas and there are lots of copperheads and cottonmouth snakes. Ew. And with our lack of winter – they are already out :P

  7. Jen says

    Um. Sometimes I wish I lived in a warmer climate… I live in eastern Canada. THEN, I hear a story like this and am thankful the worst I could come across in a hike with my little ‘uns is a really p-o’d skunk. :p Glad to see you are all OK and just read your mountain lion post and nearly died!

  8. Julie says

    I’m glad Lucy didn’t have to draw a picture of me getting into a life flight helicopter.
    Julie´s last blog post ..3:39

  9. Julie says

    Oh ya, I hate that baby rattler, but I love his murdery font. It makes me like him a little.
    Julie´s last blog post ..3:39

  10. Okay, I am totally freaked out right now! I am terrified of snakes (saw a black snake at my door the other day and ran screaming for my neighbor like a crazy woman!) I cannot imagine what I would do if I saw TWO rattler snakes in the same day! Aaaaauuuughhhhh!
    Bobbie Brown´s last blog post ..Brittany and Mark + two

  11. Janet says

    I so love: “Lesson of the day – be careful when you’re out in nature with your kids or clients. Always put safety first. A picture is so not worth anyone getting hurt.” A year ago a beautiful family ended their portrait shoot by helping me regain consciousness and driving to the ER for staples in the back of my head (and x-rays to convince the docs that I had not broken my heard head when I backed over a concrete bench and bounced my head off another).
    I am glad none of you were bitten! and, I want to hear about the mountain lion adventure!!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge