Michigan's rattlesnakes are small and timid compared to their western cousins. The snake pictured above is a Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Like other snakes, rattlesnakes are cold-blooded (or poikilothermic) so they often warm themselves on roads. Rattlesnakes eat a variety of rodents and other small animals. In general they avoid conflict with people, but if disturbed their bite is venomous.
I teach economics at Kalamazoo College. My wife is also an economist. We were on sabbatical in Europe for the 2014-15 academic year. (Salamanca, Spain, followed by Oxford, UK.) We were in Uruguay for the 2006-7 academic year.