Don't tread on me
Rattlesnakes seem to be following their prey to water during a recent dry spell. Two timber rattlers were seen near Knapps Creek on Saturday, a two-footer near Devil's Backbone and a three-footer, pictured, a few miles north of Minnehaha Springs. This snake appeared to be ready to shed, because of the yellowish appearance of his eyes. Governor Joe Manchin designated the timber rattlesnake West Virginia's state reptile in 2008. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) states that timber rattlers are secretive and passive animals, which play an important role in maintaining ecological balance and healthy forests. The snake pictured was near a farm and undoubtedly helped control the rodent population. A DNR report stated West Virginia's timber rattler population declined during the last century and continues to do so.