“Wilderness Classroom Calamity”

A cedar bush lean-to crushed by a fallen limb.
Tree tops received careful scrutiny prior to locating the cedar-bush lean-to described by Meshach Browning. Not a one appeared damaged or diseased. The humble shelter was fine late that sunny spring morning. An hour past noon found it crushed by a powder-keg-sized oak limb… Old Northwest Territory, one valley east of the River Raisin, in the Year of our Lord, 1794.

“Snapshot Saturday”


    1. Yup! This was the second shelter that collapsed due to a tree limb, and in both cases there was no indication of any problems overhead. The other one was a tree blown down in a windstorm. That tree snapped off about 16 feet up. Scary…

  1. I wonder how many old woodsmen disappeared, never to be seen again, because of such a calamity.

    Long ago I spent a black night in a small tent far back in the Adirondack Mountains of New York during a wind storm. I laid awake most of the night listening to trees cracking and heavy branches thumping the ground all around me. There was no where for me to go. I sure was glad when dawn finally arrived!

    1. Well, some of them did disappear. After dictating his narrative, John Tanner disappeared. Speculation suggests his remains were found in a swamp near Sault St. Marie.

      We had a heavy ice storm in December about 10 years back. I still went hunting, but like you, I kept hearing trees/limbs crack, then crash on the ground. I moved to a safer location, rather than press my luck in the middle of the hardwoods…

  2. Well, there is a reason those overhanging branches are called widow – makers but that is usually applied to the ones showing breaks or rot only. Maybe these are stealth widow – makers? Either way, no one was hurt and we’re thankful for that.
    Down here in south central Texas, ice storms are rare but not unheard-of. The calamity storms are usually an annual summer phenomenon and back when I was in the Boy Scouts the saying was that it wasn’t summer camp unless a storm moved through once a week. I gained a sincere and life long appreciation of heavy Army duct canvas after just my first summer camp which was called Bear Creek in the hill country. Those old Baker tents were heavy and it took two or three scouts to set it up but they always kept us dry despite a terrible thunderstorm coming through in the middle of the night. There was always a Tender foot who would bring his own nylon JC Penny pup tent that would look like a drowned rat the next morning having abandoned said tent shortly after the torrential rain had begun. Someone would take pity on them and let them into their issued Baker tent so they could at least sleep on dry ground that night. I look back on those days and think that I never knew how good I had it. Those experiences now drive me to get back out in the woods but just a little further back in time.

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