Everyone is fixated on the sensational news about the large and vicious so-called "murder hornets" that decapitate bees and have invaded the U.S. in the great northwest.

Here's a news flash: They're probably not worth worrying about in New York state. But, as we've pointed out, ticks are plentiful this year. And rattlesnakes may be more abundant, especially as you emerge from your pandemic quarantine this spring and venture out to enjoy our great hiking trails from the Adirondacks to the Southern Tier and all over Central and Western New York.

Come on. Rattlesnakes? In New York? Yes. Three types of rattlers exist in New York and they also become more active in the warmer weather as they emerge from hibernation, especially in areas where we might be recreating, like county and state parks.

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One venomous snake is the endangered Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, usually on the small end between 1-3 feet long, and sometimes found between Syracuse and Rochester. Two others, the Timber Rattlesnake, a threatened species which can grow to three or four feet long, and the Copperhead, which has a tan color, can be found in New York and are depicted here:

Credit: dec.ny.gov

For more information on snakes in the Empire State, check out the Department of Conservation's info page.