Truth be told, a snake doesn't have to very aggressive in order to be intimidating.

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In fact, most of us really don't care if it is venomous or not, the sheer sight of a snake is all we need to see just how fast our little legs can carry us and just how high our voices can scream.

However, during the Dog Days of Summer, according to old timers like my grandfather, snakes get really aggressive.

Snake, Cottonmouth, Coiled, Mouth open
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According to the Farmer's Almanac, we're smack dab in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer which will continue until August 11.

The “Dog Days” of summer are from July 3 to August 11 each year. They’re usually the hottest and most unbearable days of the season. We often hear about the “Dog Days” of summer, but few know where the expression originated.

According to;

The phrase is actually a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. This is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star.

So, what's all this got to do with snakes getting aggressive? Well, my grandfather was never one to allow facts to get in the way of a good story. What he passed along to all his grandsons was that during the dog days of summer, the heat caused the vast majority of snakes to shed their skins, and during this time a crust would develop over their eyes, so they would literally strike at anything that got near them.

Obviously, with dogs spending so much time in the areas where snakes are prone to live, they were the biggest victims of these blinded snakes. Thus, we got the "Dog Days of Summer."

There was even an article published by the New York Times way back in 1975 that seemed to support this type of thinking.  Sounds logical huh? Enough for any kid to believe his grandfather was passing along a nugget of wisdom right? Well, apparently it's just not the case.

Ellen Trout Zoo - Facebook
Ellen Trout Zoo - Facebook

In articles published by and by  that theory is completely debunked stating that snakes don't shed their skins more in August than any other month.

So, if you fell pray to the old myth just like I did, rest assured, snakes are always worthy of a little distance and our respect, but no more dangerous or aggressive right now than any other time of the year.

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