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Re: [RC] [RC] spiders are childs play..how bout tree snakes.. in VA? - Flora Hillman

I was riding the Old Dominion two years ago, sponsoring a junior and his friend in the LD, which was the day after the 50 and 100 miles rides.  We were about the last ones on the last loop heading back to the finish at basecamp,  so we were booking along to make up time, cantering along a narrow tree-lined path beside a lovely creek, heading towards a large, open farmfield. At the end of the path one tree had stuck a large, thick branch --right smack at eye level-- directly across the path.  Being first, I merely ducked under the branch, and had already gone a number of strides when I heard this terrific whooping yell from one of the boys. 
 
I pulled up immediately and turned around, expecting to see one of the boys either on the ground or in some type of calamity.  What I saw was an enthralled teenager -- my junior's friend -- cantering up to me, my junior right behind him, looking back over his shoulder at the path behind us.  Both boys were really excited.
 
"Wow!!" my junior's friend exclaimed, totally energized as only a teenaged boy would be. "Did you see that snake in the tree??!!"
 
"What snake?"
 
They both pointed back to the tree in unison.
 
"That snake"
 
I stared up and down the tree, seeing nothing unusual, until my gaze traveled out to the branch.  I did a double take, almost falling off my horse.  There, sprawled out of that thick limb, enjoying the view of everyone going past, was the biggest, hugest, tree snake I'd ever seen in my life -- including all those stuffed specimens you only find in the museum. I'm talking anaconda here --  I could see it from where we stood more than 50 feet away, it was so big.  It was also very well camouflaged, it's coloring the same as the green leaves -- so it was well hidden, even in full view.  It had been less than a few inches from my head as I had ducked under the branch.
 
I have no fear of snakes, but this one was big enough to raise the hair on your head.
 
To this day, I don't know if anyone else on the  ride ever saw it ...  but we sure did.  :-)