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Snakes are cold-blooded, meaning they rely on their surroundings to maintain their temperatures. They spend winters in dens with other snakes in brumation, a process similar to hibernation, when they would otherwise freeze from slithering across ice and snow regularly, and they bask in the sun to support their metabolism in the summer. Females give birth to live young between July and September, so to support and incubate the young snakes growing within them, they can more reliably be found basking in the sun this time of year.