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The Darkness in the Woods.

I had an interesting hike today. Image heavy post under the cut:



I’ve been really antsy lately… and today, I finally decided screw it, I needed to get out into the woods. Nature’s good. I live out in the middle of farm country… very tame, very mundane, and there’s even a little park here. Funny thing, I was almost an adult before I knew it was actually a real park as opposed to just ‘the swamp.’ It was close to sunset when I headed out.

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One thing I always found interesting about this park is that while the path starts out wide, it quickly narrows… like people turn around only a short way in. Maybe they dislike that it’s a swamp… I mean, wetland. But I love the place.
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This time though, I noticed a trail I hadn’t gone down before. It wasn’t very well kept up.

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Some of the trees were looking sorry.

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But at least there were these funny looking flowers to cheer things up.

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And I went deeper into the swamp….

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At the end of the plank path, it was hard to spot the trail.

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And some of the trees are marked with red spraypaint, like they’re to be cut down soon, even though the trail’s barely kept up.

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Along most of the way, it was more of a game trail than hiking path.

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At one point, the path widened, and there was a fallen tree.

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It was covered in scratches. I presume it’s from deer rubbing the velvet from their horns, but it looks like claw marks.

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The trees kept getting thicker…

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And some of them were kind of strange looking.

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At one point, the path was blocked completely, and I had to climb through branches to get through. You can see the fallen tree that blocked the path way down the way.

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But then, shortly after, I found this:

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This is out in the middle of nowhere. It’s in the middle of the woods, surrounded by farms. This is really uncharacteristic of the area. It was a bridge of some sort, a long time ago. But the top is covered in earth and growing things now.

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The graffiti continues in the tunnel… even though the ceiling’s so low I have to crouch to get inside. Most of it is old, and worn.
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However, the most unsettling part was this:

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I was tempted to take the skull. It was a new addition to the place… I could smell the paint on it, even though it had rained earlier today. It bothers me that it’s used in this way, like a warning… but the sun was getting lower and I had to get back to my car. Something made a loud sound in the woods, and that got me to leave right then. I left it and started heading back. On the way I saw a big coyote, I think. I was moving too fast and spooked it, but I saw its tail. That’s probably what had made the noise earlier.


The swamp feels different now. I still like it. But it’s different.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
wolfsjal
Aug. 28th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
Huh. That is indeed unsettling. Both the structure and the skull. I can't imagine there being a need for a bridge there. Shouldn't there be more evidence of some sort of road or other bridge structures, if this had been used enough to warrant building a concrete bridge?
Just weird all around.

Yay for hiking/ forest walking though!
zzyllo
Aug. 28th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
It's hard to tell from the photos, but it clear from the area that there would be water going under the bridge when it's wetter, but when I peeked over the top... yeah, it looked like it hadn't been used in a long time, and the hiking trail doesn't seem to use the bridge. Maybe there's a small game-trail-like path that I didn't see. I think I'll go back and investigate further... when the sun isn't setting and I'm not getting spooked by cute and fuzzy woodland creatures.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )