colorado

What do snakes do in the winter?

I didn’t think about snakes at all when I lived in Alaska, but here in Colorado they cross my mind from time to time. Following up on my previous article, Can snakes see?, here’s some information on what snakes do in the winter, from snakeprotection.com:

“Snakes do not actually hibernate, rather they become less active during cold weather. It is called ‘brumation.’ Brumation is an extreme slowing down of their metabolism. Snakes are awake, but just very lethargic so you don’t see them moving around. In the fall, snakes move back to the previous year’s den. If a sudden cold snap catches them before they get there, they may die if not fortunate enough to find a suitable secondary den. A number of species may share the same den. For example, black rat snakes, timber rattlesnakes, and copperheads commonly den together. Sometimes there will be as many as 100 snakes in one cave. A group site is called a hibernaculum.”

The road from Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico alvin July 21, 2019 - 9:04am

Here’s part of the road (I-25) from Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Driving from Boulder, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico alvin July 20, 2019 - 9:05am

If you ever need to drive from the Boulder/Denver, Colorado area to (or from) Santa Fe, New Mexico, the gray route on the left in this image is the most scenic, the one to take if you only get one shot at it. Lots of mountain views and ranches, and many small towns.

Once you get off of I-25, the blue road that goes through Taos is also very scenic, and is particularly pretty in the winter. I usually take the gray road back to Colorado, and the Taos road down to Santa Fe.

#MeepMeep

Can snakes see?

I’ve seen five rattlesnakes since I moved to Colorado, four dead and one that was quite upset with me. As I was walking yesterday I wondered, can snakes see? Here’s an answer from animals.howstuffworks.com.

LiveScience.com adds this information: “With the exception of a few species that have adapted to daytime hunting, most snakes do not see well. Generally they can see shapes but not details. Snakes called pit vipers can see well at night by an amazing trick. Their pits (one on each side of the head) sense heat (infrared light) like night vision goggles. These pits, not eyes, actually are thought to render images of prey in the snakes’ brains.”

30% of car license plates near me are from out of state

I don’t know what the exact numbers are, but Colorado is growing very rapidly, especially in this area where I live in the cities near Boulder. On a walk today I counted that 66 out of 220 license plates I saw were out-of-state license plates, meaning that a whopping 30% of my neighbors are from out of state and haven’t changed their license plates yet.