Rattlesnakes are only too plentiful everywhere; along the river bottoms, in the broken, hilly ground, and on the prairies and the great desert wastes alike … If it can it will get out of the way, and only coils up in its attitude of defense when it believes that it is actually menaced.
~ Theodore Roosevelt
“April in Paris, this is a feeling that no one can ever reprise.” The Frank Sinatra lyrics speak of Paris many years ago, although his sentiments remain apropos for 2016’s “April in La Crescenta” as I don’t remember a more beautiful one. Several brief, but quenching, spring showers have fallen over the foothills; the mountains are now covered in bright green grasses intermingled with an abundance of wildflowers. Day-to-day, the weather vacillated between a warm and windy type to one of cool and breezy. All the while a myriad of cloud types, those worthy of an artist’s canvas, have moved across the landscape. Yes, to the artist the landscape includes the sky.
As the splendor of spring continues on, the grasses and other vegetation grow. The Crescenta Valley has taken on a “garden of Eden” quality, rocks and all! But no garden is without danger, including ours. Fifteen miles to the east, in Kagel Canyon, two horses reportedly died from rattlesnake bites. The snake venom was identified as belonging to a Mojave Green. This particular subspecies’ venom is the most debilitating and deadly of all rattlesnakes’.
The Southern Pacific rattlesnake is the most common rattlesnake found in the San Gabriel Mountains and the one we would most likely encounter, but all snakebites are potentially fatal. Due to their size and innocence, children and animals are most vulnerable. Lack of sufficient rainfall bring snakes further from their normal habitats. Whether pulling weeds in your garden or hiking a local trail … always beware!
These final days of April come with one last chance for rain showers; today’s forecast includes thunderstorms and gusty winds. Friday and Saturday will remain cooler than normal; however, with the interaction of a coastal eddy spinning fog into our area and a low moving southward along the California/Nevada border, the certainty of clear skies remains “up in the air.”
May’s weather diary begins something like this: Under mostly clear skies, dry and warmer conditions begin. By mid week temperatures take a big upward jump into the now blue skies across the Crescenta Valley.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.