Here in Minnesota, there is only one species of posionous snake, and that is the rattlesnake (timber rattler, I think). There are not very many of them, and they are mostly in the Southwestern part of the state.
Recently some friends of mine were hiking in Granite Falls, and saw a snake that they believe was a small rattler. At first it played dead, then it coiled and rattled its rattles, and then my friend’s partner teased it with a stick and it struck the stick. (I like snakes and have never seen a rattler, but I certainly wouldn’t have tried to get it to strike.)
I thought at first that this may have been a more common snake that uses its similarity to a rattler as a defense (at least that’s why people usually leave it alone; sorry about anthropomorphisizng), but they say they saw the rattle.
Now, this would only have been a couple hundred miles from its usual territory at the most. How far do snakes usually travel? Could this be a fluke or could they be expanding their territory? Do any of you snake people have ideas about this?