Louis Charpentier, who wrote The mystery of Chartres Cathedral, says in his introduction that he first became interested in this subject when he was asked to investigate why animals behaved strangely close to stone circles - Particularly snakes.
Sorry, I'm a couple of pages behind on this thread, but that's very interesting indeed. If one considers that stone circles and other such megalithic constructions were built on sites deemed to be sacred, and this status may well be conferred upon areas containing strong "earth energies", for wont of a better expression, where long ago shamans and others were able to detect - whether because of iron in the earth, or subterranean water courses, or for some other reason - currents beneath the earth, then it would make sense, that snakes of all creatures, with their ability to sense faint tremors in the ground, might react in such a way close to a standing stone. Interesting.
Also, this is a miniscule point, but given the ancient stones that dot the landscape around RLC, it's possibly worth noting that there are a lot of snakes, particularly vipers, in the countryside around there. I know, it's a rocky Meditteranean environment, so that's hardly a suprise, but a preponderance of reddish-brown serpents can sometimes lead one's mind in a certain direction, just as the red-watered streams that come from the iron soil can.
I'm pretty sure you get these around that area - Montpellier Snakes (Malpolon Monspessulanus
- Malpolon derives from Greek, and means "strong" and "many") - I came within less than an inch of treading on one by the medieval bridge at Serres a couple of years ago, and when I described it to someone from the region, they thought that's what it probably was, and it's the closest match I've found on an excellent French reptile website I found (see below).
Montpellier Snake:http://www.herpfrance.com/reptile/montp ... ulanus.php
Anyway, that's a brief distraction from the interesting notion of animals, and particularly snakes behaving in curious ways in the vicinity of standing stones, but thought it was worth mentioning that when hiking the trails around RLC, and taking in all that magnificent scenery around you, it's worth casting your eyes down at the ground occasionally.