The Incident at the Cedar Swamp

So is the title Nancy Drew-ish or Sherlock Holmsian?  Either way, it was an incident to be sure.  I decided to head up to Loverens Mill Cedar Swamp Preserve on Tuesday.  I was after some solitude and afternoon light.  Little did I know that they were logging the surrounding forest.  But, being the trooper that I am I went past the gouged up road that had to be carved through the woods and eventually got to the trail proper.  It wasn’t exactly peaceful though.  I couldn’t hear chainsaws so I think that part of the excision was over, but the big transporter rig was moving through and was startlingly close.  Basically it’s a huge truck with a claw that picks up the dead trees and hauls them to the pick up area where the road trucks will use similar claws to load them and then take them to a mill somewhere.  Funny that the lumber mill the site is named for is no longer in operation; they could have just left them stacked where they were if it was.

Anyway, after a while of trying to get into the groove in the swamp itself, I decided to call it quits.  Between the constant auditory barrage of the truck and the fact that the boardwalk was damaged, spongy and underwater partway along, I didn’t have a lot of peace or exploration opportunities.  I considered doing the loop that goes down by the river, but was just too disappointed by the disruption of the logging.  I couldn’t have had worse timing though and when I got back to the area where the trees were stacked, the guy with the hauler was there unloading.  I didn’t want to risk a tree slipping and crushing me, so I stayed safely out of the guy’s work area for a time while he did his thing.  Danger is not my middle name.  Neither is stupidity.

Clumsy apparently is though because when he moved the truck to another section of the pile, I decided to run for it.  If the terrain had been better I think I would have been ok, but it was loose soil topped with huge rocks to form a rudimentary road bed.  Unstable as hell.  I was halfway down when a rock seemed to buck me off and I went down hard.  My elbow caught the brunt of the impact, but I also got nailed with a poiny rock just in front of my left kidney.  By this time the guy in the truck saw me and made as if to get out, but I sprang up, grabbed the stuff that I dropped and gave him a wave, feeling utterly humiliated as I limped off back to my car.

A survey of the damage revealed that the iPod and the camera were ok and still functioning.  The lens cap popped off the 12-60mm, but no other damage was visible. I fired off a shot or two and sighed with relief.  Another big sigh when the iPod still played and that my Bose earbuds were still in one piece.  But was I?  I bent to unlace my boots and wondered what that red spatter was.  Blood apparently.  My blood.  From my gashed up elbow.  Nice.  And there were some abrasions and what would turn out to be spectacular bruises, especially the one on my side.  The damage seems to be superficial though; no blood in my urine (oh TMI right?)  I guess love handles are useful for something.

So after changing into sandals, getting my breath back and making sure my gear and I were ok, I headed out.  An hour later I arrived in New Boston and felt pretty good despite some wicked stinging in my elbow.  I decided to stop and have a stroll by the Piscataquog.  Now, I’m going to go off message here for a bit and relate something that amazed me.  Yeah, yeah, pictures are coming, hang on a sec.  See, I’ve switched to an ancestral diet as of June 2.  Often called paleo, my specific eating outline is primal which includes dairy and wine.  Basically I’ve eliminated grain and processed food from my diet.  The upshot is that the day of The Incident at the Cedar Swamp I still felt great after a few hours in the woods and the fall.  Great enough to continue on to another preserve and walk some more.  I know for a FACT that I would have given up and gone home a month ago.  I’d done it before.  Mostly it’s the intense carb cycle of sugar high and the eventual crash and that now I don’t subject my body to that anymore.  Now I have a constant energy stream that keeps my mental, emotional and physical systems running more optimally.  I didn’t feel drained, depleted, tired or exhausted in any way.  After a handful of pistachios around 3:30, I stayed out for another 2 hours.  Unheard of in me pre-primal life.

Ok.  Now you get pics.  Thanks for reading so far.  I’m usually no so wordy, huh?

Cedar trees and Cinnamon fern
A huddle of cinnamon ferns
Just out of sight the boardwalk gets impassable unless you want to get wet.
A textural paradise!
A green frog in peat moss – they’re less wary than other frogs, so I could get close!

Here’s one shot I would have missed if I’d called it quits and not walked by the Piscataquog.  The light was nice and the wind was calm so it just took some effort managing the background for this one.  I wonder how many other things I missed because of my carb-crashes.


2 thoughts on “The Incident at the Cedar Swamp

Add yours

  1. Wow! Glad you and your equipment survived that fall. You certainly got some lovely shots in that area. I absolutely love the frog capture!

  2. Ouch! Glad the damage was relatively light from your fall. I don’t know about the diet thing, but I’ve managed to loose a few pounds myself recently (just reducing intake a bit, no changes to foods) and I know I feel better for it. That frog shot is the winner- very cool!

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