The relatively warm temperatures that we’ve been having for the past few weeks seems to have sped along the arrival of Spring- bringing with it the increased movement of animals coming out of hibernation. While it may seem like it is nowhere time to start being on the lookout for snakes unfortunately they are out and about. Rattlesnakes are ectothermic, meaning that they are cold blooded creatures. Cold blooded animals cannot regulate their body temperature the same way warm blooded animals can, so to survive rattlesnakes will congregate together in “dens” during the cold winter months and swarm together to stay warm and alive. Once temperatures warm up they are able to begin moving about individually again. While rattlesnakes are dangerous and sometimes frightening, it is important to remember that they do not intentionally seek out humans to strike. They strike humans when provoked, and before striking they typically will give ample warning by shaking their rattlers. It is imperative to always be paying attention to your surroundings, always keep your eyes and ears open to listen for the warning of a rattlesnake in your vicinity, and if confronted by one do not make sudden movements! Rattlesnakes are not a matter to be taken lightly, but by being aware and informed you have a better chance of avoiding a venomous bite from a rattlesnake strike.