Snakes alive - what's going on?

I went to open the back door to let the dog out this evening and I jumped a few feet.

This time, instead of a rattlesnake on the sidewalk, it was a gopher snake between the screen door and the glass patio door.

It looked pretty happy just hanging out in the cool spot. But at first glance, gopher (or bull) snakes look a little like rattlesnakes, so I fell backwards. Then immediately I went for the camera.

I'm starting to think there's something going on with snakes this summer. No specific reasons, but there seem to be more sightings of snakes in neighborhoods. Are the cool, moist areas of lawns and vegetation around homes more inviting than the drought-stricken dried grasses of the Boise Foothills?

You got me, but this is the second night in a row I've met up with a snake, and like I said before, I'm getting really rattled.

This time, however, we are welcoming the gopher snake. It's a good sign because hopefully our friend will patrol the outside of our home and property for mice and other rodents.

Rattlesnakes do the same thing and are important too,  but when it comes to rattlers, you've really got to watch your step.