to be wary of when hiking
Poison Oak, Rhus
abundant in most wild lands in Monterey County. The distinguishing three
leaf clusters are to be avoided. The leaves impart a poisonous oil that
blisters the skin and can be spread by brushing against the leaves,
petting a dog that has walked through poison oak, or contacting clothing
that has brushed against poison oak leaves. The dried, brown leaves
of poison oak also contain the poisonous oils. If you do come into contact
with poison oak do not touch your eyes, and cover the infected areas
to prevent exposure to sun light. Get immediate medical attention.
Deer Ticks are
very active and abundant in the spring time. They are slow moving and
feed primarily on mammal blood, about 1/8' (3-4 mm) in size. Female
ticks lay eggs in the ground. The hatchlings climb up vegetation and
wait for a host to brush against the vegetation where it latches on
and feeds. After the tick is gorged from the blood the tick will fall
off, molt and start all over again by climbing up to the tops of vegetation
to wait for another host.
Wear light colored clothing when hiking (ticks favor dark clothes).
If you are walking through pastures or wood lands, stuff your trouser
pant legs into your socks to prevent ticks from climbing up your bare
legs. Spray tick repellent on your clothes before you hike and check
your clothes for ticks after hiking. Remove any ticks and burn or drown
them in alcohol. Ticks can transfer disease organisms including Lyme
Snakes (western diamond back)
Most active in midday when its warm. Rattle Snakes inhabit most of Monterey
Counties wild lands. They have a large triangular head and most always
feature a rattle at the end of its tail. Be especially wary in rocky
areas because of the likelihood of rattle snake dens, or basking snakes.
When hiking always carry a "snake bite kit."
Lion, Cougar (felis concolor) Elusive
and rarely seen. Mountain lions feed primarily on small mammals and
deer. Mountain lions weight from 80-200 lbs, with tawny coloration.
There are rarely any attacks on humans. Keep small children and small
pets close to you when in the woods. When hiking be careful when bending
down as this posture mimic's the lions prey animals, do not run in the
presence of a mountain lion this will only trigger its instincts to
attack. Instead when confronted by a mountain lion stand as tall as
possible, waving your arms and yelling. Always try to hike with a friend.
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