Old Man Winter was a pussy-ass-bitch! It was just a few days before the arrival of the Spring Equinox and the ground was already thawed, it had been for weeks at this point. Green vegetation covered much of the forest floor, fueled by the onslaught of unseasonably mild air. Pesky woodland creatures began to awaken from hibernation way too early. I could hear their dinky legs and arms scampering about the woods, probably perplexed as to where the hell winter went so soon. I watched as some dopey squirrel buried a mouthful of nuts into the soft ground, probably thinking to his squirrel-self that he's one slick motherfucker, impressing all the bitches and hoes not only with his suave puffy tail but also smarts, by getting ahead of the winter freeze and hiding food in the ground to later dig up during the spring. Stupid squirrel, little did it know winter had come and gone without so much as one decent snow or prolonged freeze. I enjoy the spring weather, but only after the freeze of winter, for those few bleak months everything is just still, quiet, dead, peaceful; it makes the liveliness of the forthcoming spring welcomed. But when there is seemingly no gap between seasons, monotony sets in.
I dropped my pants down waste height behind a moss covered tree too take a wicked urination, while hopefully in turn mooning that stupid squirrel, showing him who's boss. When traversing the forest I've come to the conclusion that there's no reason to risk potentially snagging one's garden snake within the crocodile like zipper teeth of a fly. It's always easier to just release a built up piss like you're some 4 year old kid encountering a urinal in a public restroom for the first time. Just one of the many joys of being alone in the woods, or at least being a male, I suppose.
Before entering the forest I was forward thinking enough to have consulted Google Maps aerial imagery of the wooded area on my phone and dropped a digital pin about a strange looking shiny blob centered within a swampy looking forested area. Phone in hand I set forth, glancing at the map and screen every few minutes to assure I was indeed walking in the correct direction towards the pin, which indicated the general radius of what I hoped would be the wreckage I was searching for.
The elevation of the forest began to slope steeply downhill and the rocky, dry terrain soon transitioned into a stew of spongy moss, skunk cabbage, and thick sludgy mud comparative to beef gravy. No, not the warm gravy you'd douse over disco fries at some sketchy Jersey diner at 1AM, this is more like the gravy that explodes out of your anus at 1:45 AM while sitting in the diner bathroom as some poor excuse of a human-being in the next stall over is audibly power pushing out a petrified turd demon.
With each step into the swamp, light brown juices excreted out of an even darker spongy under layer of mud. This freely floating brown liquid quickly permeated my shitty dead deer skin fabricated boots, soaking into my shoes and once white socks. I could feel the cold liquid seeping between the gaps of my toes, pooling towards my heel, where it grossly warmed to a comfortable temperature. Each step was a struggle as I had to pull my shoes out from the suction like grip of the thick mud, which in turn released a perfume significant of poop smells, escaping like a rank burp shimmied up from the depths of a competitive hotdog eater's bloated gastrointestinal tract. A pleasantly mild breeze funneled the aromas directly up into my nostrils; lovely.
Normally this time of year the swamp would still be frozen and the surrounding vegetation dead, making for a relatively easy cross. But with winter having bitched out this season, nothing truly froze over, so here I was standing ankle deep in feces mud, probably being laughed at by squirrels and other assorted woodland creatures caricatured by short stubby legs and smug grins.
Slumping through the gravy, exhibiting a hunched over posture derived from lack of self-esteem continued for a solid hundred feet before these little elevated tree stump islands began to appear within close enough proximity to one another that they served like stepping stones across the swamp. The catch was these safety island stepping stones of sorts were completely covered by slippery moss, so while one could walk across the swamp upon them, a new risk of acquiring swamp ass from slipping now had to be assumed. Thinking outside the swamp, I extended the legs of my tripod out to serve as a makeshift walking stick of sorts and precariously meandered across the marsh. I maintained my balance quite effectively, so well in fact that I felt like I was pulling off some David Blaine like illusion. Such cockiness continued until a physical illusion appeared right before my very feet as I stepped onto a moss covered lump that existed as nothing more than a rotted out hollow tree stump.
Forward I fell. I'd like to imagine it as happening graciously and in slow motion. But in reality I hit the ground hard, well as hard as one can hit a mushy marsh, falling like a senior citizen slipping on a sketchy banana peel on the supermarket floor, complete with walking cane summersaulting above, seeming to freeze mid-air before abruptly falling. My tripod landed beside me, covered in swamp gravy, just a mud toss away from the wreckage of a downed fighter jet.