Giant Snakes on a Summer Day, a Memoir
Have you ever seen a humongous snake in the wild in Michigan? A snake so big it looked like it escaped from the zoo? I saw not one, but two in the middle of the woods and let me tell you, it was a sight I will never forget!
It happened on a beautiful summer day in 2001. I was with my husband, our German Shepherd, Marly, my sister Angie and brother-in-law Stephen. We often hiked at Proud Lake State Park located in Wixom, Michigan. We loved the miles of trails along the river and lake and through the mature forest. This day was no different, we set out for a relaxing afternoon in the wild. Little did we know that it would become some a memorable trip.
We had been hiking for about an hour and a half and made our way across the river and to the outer edge of the other side of the forest. We had never gone that far before, and I was more worried about bugs getting bad than seeing a frightening wild animal. My husband, Anthony, was walking Marly and they were ahead of the group. I could see Marly starting to get excited and assumed she was sensing something like a raccoon or another small animal in the woods. As we kept walking, her excitement grew and then she started barking. At this point I started getting excited thinking we'd see deer or another large mammal. We slowed our pace and tried to figure out what she was so excited about.
As I searched through the trees in the dense forest, I saw something just a few feet away from the trail that startled me. A snake! OK, no big deal, I had seen dozens of snakes while walking these trails. It was the body I spotted first and I looked closer wanting to get a good look. Only, I couldn't find the end to the body! I yelled to the group to get their attention. I never did see his tail and when I saw how big around his body was at the largest point my first thought was that this must be an exotic pet that escaped or was let loose in the wild.
Everyone gathered around and all we could do was stare with big eyes. Marly had calmed down now and was panting heavily in the sizzling heat. The snake was moving, fast! And we all quickly noticed something else, there wasn't just one, there was two snakes! As we noticed they were racing fast, Angie started to panic. Fearful of snakes this was too much to bear. She ran in the other direction fast shouting, "They're chasing me!" The rest of us were too intrigued to move. The two snakes were moving together and looked to be intertwined. I had never seen anything like that, it was an amazing sight especially with such large snakes in the wild. After noticing that there were two, I realized that they probably weren't escapees but more than likely a native snake like a Blue Racer. The snakes eventually moved out of view and we were left staring into the woods trying to figure out what we just witnessed.
It's now been almost 15 years since seeing the giant snakes in the woods. I still think about it now and again, especially when I walk on the same trail. Without having Marly to warn us, I'm sure we probably walk right past wild animals all the time. I'm so happy that we had the experience of seeing giant snakes in the wild and lived to tell the tale.