Forest mystery


I’m perplexed by this. I’ve never seen anything like it. Have you?

Around the base of this modest-sized tree, and no other in the whole area, all the loose detritus is gone. The clear area extends a bit over a meter away from the trunk, and has no holes or dents or evidence that a heavy weight sat on the cleared area. The edge is even but not overly defined.

This special tree base is near a little-used but still public hiking trail. The spot is unremarkable, and nowhere near a hilltop or other prominence.

I’m thinking human not natural, without a doubt. But I can’t figure out why or what for….

Perhaps to mystify me and other hikers?


  1. kayak woman says:

    people (or dogs) aren’t peeing on it are they? Being funny here, after a long day. I don’t really think that’s what it is.

    And, hey, new look!

  2. Sammy says:

    No chance it’s urine-kill. Sorry. Please try again!

  3. Pooh says:

    Someone collected the detritus for research, or to set up an encampment? Both seem unlikely, although when I worked part time for the MI DNR, we did do a study on deer browsing. It involved a transect line and every 100? meters we would mark a meter square and clear and weigh ALL green stuff w/in the square and up to a height of 5 feet. Five feet is how high deer can browse. If there was a bush or tree in the plot with a woody stem we left the stem.

    Maybe it was some weird part of the tornado path or a micro burst?

    A squirrel with OCD collecting leaves for its nest, but they have to be from this tree only?

  4. Sammy says:

    Or maybe a squirrelly scientist with OCD? You may have nailed it, Pooh!