We went out to the field site this weekend to check on our radiotagged Northern Pacific rattlesnakes. The snakes have been "hibernating" underground in rocky outcrops since November. The weather had been quite warm following our recent heavy rain. Here's what typical rattlesnake habitat looks like in the Carrizo Plain:
We were thrilled to see one of our 18 snakes out basking in partial sunlight. We needed a blood sample to measure the snake's hormone levels, and we wanted to measure and weigh the snake to see if last year's drought had a negative impact. This is C4, a medium-sized male we've been radiotracking since Oct 2006.
Marty tubing the snake: