Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. With South Florida's warm climate, pygmy rattlesnakes are active year-around. But they're seen more often at some times than others. Late summer and early fall seem to be the peak encounter times. This is when the snakes give birth to their young and when young are dispersing to new areas. This is also the time when young pygmy rattlesnakes sometimes find themselves uninvited hitchhikers to civilization. Pygmy rattlesnakes hunt by waiting for food to come by and often find a comfortable spot at the base of a shrub or a small tree, a place that offers a safe hiding place as well as shelter from which they might strike prey. There, they quietly wait, sometimes even as the shrub or tree is moved for transport to a nursery or yard. Pygmy rattlesnakes are probably the most frequently encountered snakes in nurseries and at the garden centers of major discount stores, attesting to their quiet tolerance of people and persistence in sitting tight rather than fleeing.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.