Spring storm

This has been a strange spring here at the rattlesnake dens. It has either been unusually hot or like this:

 spring storm
14 April 2012

Last year, we saw a gradual increase in social basking behavior, followed by snakes dispersing for their summer hunting grounds. That process has been halted and restarted twice this year already! But, this site had a very dry monsoon season last summer, followed by a dry winter, so the precipitation is greatly needed here. And the snakes appreciate it as well, even if its accompanied by cold temperatures:

That morning our cameras caught several snakes drinking the rain, hail, and snow as it fell, but they quickly retreated deep into their dens again. There was little activity for the next few days and you can see why here:

More on snake activity later! We’ve seen so many familiar faces already…