Monday, January 14, 2013

...Edith Wharton's Forest Holds Treasures.

When merrily strolling through the woods on the grounds of The Mount with my boyfriend on Friday, I came across a few strange things that I think are worthy of a mention.  I discovered three oddities and although I'd like to write a poem, a short story, and novel on each of them, I'll have to settle for just a few paragraphs each for now.

The mysterious woodpile in the woods.

Oddity #1: The Woodpile

I  suppose there isn't anything too weird about a woodpile in the middle of the woods, considering the wood came from trees and trees aren't hard to find in forests.  And logs may be needed to put in fireplaces to create nice, cozy fires and yet...this woodpile is nowhere near any buildings.

Matt and I had turned off the little road that leads to the mansion and walked into the more dense area of the forest to see where it might lead.  It didn't really lead anywhere; it was a dead end that stopped at the noisy main road.  But that is where our woodpile is residing at this very moment.

Now, let's assume that this woodpile is a log stash for The Mount.  An employee would have to walk down the side path into the woods and then transport wood to either the stables or the mansion, both which are a small distance away (unless they were driving, but it's simply no fun to assume that).  It appears more likely that the woodpile would be placed right outside those buildings, where it could be accessed easily and immediately!

Matt suggested that perhaps someone had cut down a tree and left the wood stash there.  I think this is entirely plausible, but when I look at the above picture, I see a neatly stacked pile of logs, covered in a blanket of snow, and I can't help but think that they have a purpose.

The snake branch.
Oddity #2: The Abnormal Branch

Matt gets the credit for finding this one!  This tree with the strange branch was just a few feet away from the Mysterious Woodpile.  The tree itself isn't particularly extraordinary, but the the green, mossy branch that twists around it sure is!  The branch starts off towards the bottom of the trunk, and winds it's way up to almost the very top.

What makes this branch so much fun is that it doesn't even seem like it belongs to the tree and it isn't firmly attached; it is suspended out in the air.  It stands out in stark contrast, doing it's own thing, as if it were only visiting for a short while instead of being a permanent fixture.

And where did it come from?  It wasn't put there; it had to have grown there! 

Oddity #3: The Tree With The Face

This was located on the edge of the deeper forest instead of in it, but it stood out to me instantly!  When I first looked at this tree, I saw a gaping mouth (the dark, oval hole at the bottom) and an eye (the knotted elbow of the branch sticking somewhat up on the right).  It also resembles a wailing ghoul to me and this is very appropriate, considering that The Mount is allegedly haunted.

I guess this isn't that odd, since it only looks like a face and isn't actually one.  But it still makes me wonder about the life of this tree.  Was it once a handsome, tall, straight tree with lots of green brances?  How did it become the way it is now, all gnarled and misshapen and sad?  Only Elder Tree, as I named it, and the trees around it know.

I guess this would also be the time to mention that whenever I looked into the trees in this part of the forest, I could have sworn I saw a house in the distance.  It wasn't the mansion, since we weren't facing in the direction of it's location and the structure I thought I saw was a deep, brick red, not white.  However, Matt did not see this, so I could have been hallucinating.  Just another oddity to add to the experience!

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