Weird things in the woods

The website for hunters has a page devoted to weird things hunters have found in the woods. Browsing the comments where people describe what they’ve found on their outings reminded me of the cow bone in our freezer.

I think it’s a cow bone. My son saw it on the side of the road in Montana between Anaconda and Philipsburg. He popped out of the car to get it while we were waiting at a road construction site road block for our turn to pass. It’s in a plastic bag in our freezer until we do something with it. Bleach it?

Once I found a cow skull in New Mexico when I was hiking with a friend who said he knew where to find cow skulls. I was looking for a skull for my brother, although, I can’t recall exactly why.

Bones aren’t all that can be found in the woods or elsewhere in the middle of nowhere. One person wrote on the weird things page that he found a bathtub filled with dirt nailed to a tree. He suspected it was for growing “wacky tobacky.”

Another person found $100 tucked in a pair of women’s underwear. That’s something. Someone else found remains of a moonshine still.

One of my great uncles once told me to be careful when I was visiting him in Knott County in southeastern Kentucky where he lived. I was heading out on a walk in the woods so he warned me about not coming upon a place where people are growing pot. According to him, pot was growing everywhere in those Kentucky hills. My uncle was a bit of an alarmist so I’m not sure about the accuracy of his statement, but it stuck with me.

Sometimes one can find the remains of hunters in the woods. Not the hunters, actually, but what they’ve left behind. Near where my father lives in New York state, there are two hunters’ cabins that are in the process of decay. Each summer when we visit, my son insists that we head through the woods to access the progress of ruin.

The roof of one of the one-room structures is almost all gone, and the floor has broken through in places, but the stove is still there with a pan still on it. I always wonder who used it and why did they stop coming.

This topic of weird things in the woods is one that could bring about a spine tingling novel or a short story. When we come across a thing in the woods like a bone or two –or a shoe, or a cheap plastic comb, we wonder about the story that happened before we arrived. “What happened here?” we ask. In the above photograph, this abandoned Navy bus is rotting in the woods near Bangor, Maine. The text underneath the photo also begs the question, “What in the world is it doing in the woods?”