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Living in the woods


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We live in the woods - not 200 feet off the country road, but we have trees on three sides of our house. There's a pond in our front (on the side furthest away from the road).


We've always heard from others that it "must be scary" here. When we moved in, local people thought for sure we must be "druggies", because we apparently wanted to hide ourselves away in the woods. But you can see our house through the trees! (To clarify, the place next door had a woman who was apparently a drug dealer who lost her home eventually, and they may have thought originally that we bought that place, which is deeper into the woods.) The principal of the school was very good about getting to know us and squelching those rumors. I don't know what might have happened if we hadn't had young children going there. :huh:


But a couple of things happened more recently that got me thinking.


We had a family have a flat tire out near our drive. DH walked out to see if he could offer help or tools. They were a different race than we are, but DH said they acted scared to DEATH, first by just needing to stop by the woods, but then when he walked near, the guy REALLY hurried. DH said he never saw a tire get changed quite that quickly. :o


Now, DH was sincere in wanting to help. He had no weapons, stayed respectfully back, and was friendly. He's not a big, scary guy.


They were nice in their responses, but just seemed very scared.


Then I called LilDD's bus driver for something, and she mentioned how scary it must be for her to walk "through the woods" to get on the bus. I told her that I offered her a flashlight, but she knows the drive well enough that even in the dark she's fine, and not scared. The driver mentioned "all those creatures" that are "out there". scratchhead.gif



So - my questions are -


Is there a general perception that the woodlands are a scary place? I know there are lots of movies that show scary things happening, but REALLY?


Would you be really AFRAID to live in a woods? Why? What reasons?


I used to think I'd want to have a place out kind of in a field area, so I'd have room for a garden, etc. But I'm beginning to wonder if we're actually safer right here, even so close to the road. If things went really bad, we could share duties with the neighbor further in. She's good with guns and I'm good with foods. :shrug:

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Some folks are afraid of "outside" whether its woods or not. I have a good friend of another race and she says that she was afraid of the snakes, bugs, animals, the nighttime noises that she can't identify (which is any country noise). She moved here form NYC about 6 years ago. She is getting used to it but still doesn't like gardening because of the snakes and bugs. Her DH is doing some gardening.


I'm not afraid of the woods. It's what I grew up with. OTOH, I am terrified of being in a city. I avoid them at all costs if possible. Like my friend's preconceived ideas of the country, I think cities are full of people who will rob and hurt me.

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Living in the woods would not scare me, it is a broken dream I used to have.


The forest is a place full of intrigue, beauty, wonder and unlimited resources. DH and I backpacked for years into the forests.


I think it might be the TV that has put the fear in people.

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I don't watch horror flicks, Cat. Never thought they were worth the film they are made on or the time put into them.

The woods are deep here, there are swampy areas too and rugged places. you have to watch your step. Most folks here unless its a newer home have trees around their homes if they are not farmers. Farm homes that are older do have some around them for the shade factor but woodlots are further away normally.

I would not make a habit of walking the woods at night and even a few yards in it can get very dark in the shade in many places and can seem spooky.

I fear humans more than most of the animals here, except venemous snakes although it could be very scary, its the humans I worry about now. I can acclimate from my apartment living in less than a month to living in the woods if I have. I can learn what is intimately around me in a spot I chose if I have to. Granted, its good to be careful.


I think those folks probably have been through some terrible places or if they are from a more tribal back ground , say if SE Asian, since you didn't say, or from Another Continent, they may have superstitions from their culture or they just already had really bad experiences inner city or otherwise and so they showed great fear.


I cannot blame them but reccomend some caution even if DH meant to help. Its lucky they panicked and worked hard to get done and just left. It could have been much worse if they had any firearms or chose to use jackparts thinking they must defend themselves.


we have lived in relative safety in our country residences and we don't have the street smarts .I was scared poo-less in Albany after what happened inside a hospital!!! I almost got stuck there. I was terrified about getting out of the city and home. I had both mean city ( evidently) people and those who didn't know diddly even about buses they take to get around except their own particular route. I asked around. Then I had a hundred miles of route road and you are not allowed to hitchhike in NY state, lol, for your own safety. yea, right, drunk hunters in the woods. uh huh...... boy....walking in my penny loafers with a thin poncho for the rain.... yea, one bottle of water and a snack bar but needed alot of water and I had not even stuck my metal army surplus cup in my pack with my toiletries. ( I had been told I could stay in the hoptel hotel at first. So I had mostly clothes and some almonds I wasnt supposed to be eating and stuff to make a fire with and my poncho). My triangular over the head pack is a pain in the kazoo. Even with a bad shoulder, I will get a better regular day pack again. I just don't want bright red this time.


yes I was surely spooked and might have reacted badly since my threat level was so darn high by noon on Friday that day after all the malicious emotional and verbal attacks and gestures of powerful stuff for almost a day and no one with me to defend me for I only spoke the truth for my part.


These poor folks have had some real bad luck somewhere,but also you never know if someone might be armed now and in their panic pull it out as times are getting tougher. Where ever they go, I hope people will take the time to show them we can be kind and helpful. All of us are descendants of someone who came first and didn't know the language, or a lot of us are.


usually I am welcoming and actually pretty happy go lucky or casual when I meet up with someone, but I can see where there are things that can make one tremendously fearful even in our country now. I dread having to go down there but must comply.

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Living in the woods would not scare me, it is a broken dream I used to have.


The forest is a place full of intrigue, beauty, wonder and unlimited resources...





Living in town scares me. I do not sleep well if I am home alone at night in town. Every little noise wakes me but in the country/woods I sleep like a baby. We now live in a fairly good sized town, about 18,000 that is 17,900 too many for my taste but it will do for now until we can buy land.

Edited by mommato3boys
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When we lived in Louisiana, we lived about a mile into the woods, you could not see our house from the road, most people didn't even know the house was there, our driveway looked like a forest road. People ALWAYS said things Ike that to us. I never understood itshakinghead.gif I guess it's just peoples perceptions, and it was fine with me that people were scared to come down our road!!

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I think that people who have not grown up camping, fishing and hunting really don't have an understanding of the woods. There is a certain amount of common sense and respect that you need when you live in the woods. Knowlege is power and alot of people are clueless. They are use to the creature comforts of a neighborhood where people are all around. Solitude scares the heck out of most people and puts them out of their comfort zone.

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Only when it's windy. LOL






LOVE being out in the woods, wouldn't scare me a bit to live there. Was at Mom's today and she asked: 'Wanna go for a walk through the woods?' I must of looked at her like she was nuts, cuz then she said: 'Oh-yeah...it is a bit windy, huh? Don't need a limb falling on our heads.' LOL


BTW--we had to walk through a wooded area to get to the bus stop when we were kids. Never thought of it as scarey.

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I live on almost an acre. It's a long lot and not square. The back 2/3 is woods. All of the neighbors have left the woods as is so there is a lot of virgin woods back there. I've been here 22 years and it's still creepy to me. Being in a town, we have had some of the neighbors calling the police because they saw someone walking around back there. This has happened a few times. It is so dark in there anyone could be hiding there and we'd never know it, especially at night.


Most of us in the subdivision have our shrubs cut low around our houses so someone can't hide close to the windows without being seen. Most of us keep our curtains and blinds tightly drawn at night so no one can stand back there and look in. Shudder. I really don't like dark places where someone can hide I can't see them. Personally, I'd be more afraid in the wooded/country area than a lighted city. I also want the police/ambulance/fire to get to me in 5 minutes or less.


I suppose living alone might have something to do with it too. It wasn't as creepy when husband and son were living here. Something to think about if you ever find yourself alone. This is why I'm starting to change my mind about living off by myself, and aging. I'm starting to think there might be something to that saying 'safety in numbers.'


There have been more and more break ins in our town lately so the people on our block are much more alert and keeping an eye out for our neighbors property. Someone shot a deer back in the woods, two weeks ago, and didn't kill it. It ended up lying next to one of the neighbors house and they had to call animal control.


I'm not creeped out about monsters and Hollywood garbage but I am about armed people who I can't see but they can see me.

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Necie - You must have had some of those terrible winds we had yesterday! I jokingly asked DH if he wanted to go for a walk in the woods! The trampoline flipped over and as we were taking it down, a huge tree fell in the woods, right next to the woodline. My dad would always say not to go in the woods during or after storms/winds because of the "widow makers".


I think it is really odd to be afraid of the woods! That is where I go if I want to have peace and quiet or just enjoy the beauty of the woods. DH and I are looking at putting our house pretty far into the woodline. And it is definitely not out of the ordinary for someone to have their house in the woods, around here at least.


I am another one of those that is more scared to be in the city than in the woods!

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Oh Goodness, Cat...


I woke up with this poem running through my thoughts...


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.


He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.


The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.



Robert Frost



I remember singing as a 7-9 yr old child, "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.", almost every time we walked the 2 miles through the forest to Grandmother's house. Or when we were out gathering wood, herding the cows back to the barn, or collecting berries. My little brother and I would hike through the forest regularly to get cookies from 'Gramma' or fish in the lake on her property.

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Our new place has a bit of woods surrounding it. We live up a long drive with clearing on top. We are near a river on a dead end road. Right now, I am really not that concerned about being out there. I have lived in the country most of my life and feel safer out there than I do living in town. Bad things CAN happen anywhere. No use being scared. Just being aware of what is going on around you is the most important thing. I have had several people ask me if I am scared to be there by myself sometimes but it is usually only for a short while before my DH comes home. I'm really not scared though and many people just can't understand that.

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I have to ask this question, Cat... Was the family black? The reason that I ask is that I am frequently asked about my upbringing in the boonies by other black people. Many think that it would be scary to be "only' black family or to be so isolated from the culture.I think that there are still some lingering fears about rural white people being racists.It is a completely unfair perception, but it is still there.I'm pretty comfortable in just about any environment and can easily walk confidently in any of the inner-city neighborhoods without fear.Of course, I also speak to everyone that I meet which lends a bit of personality to the interaction.



In general, I think that we train children to fear the woods from an early age. Think about the stories of Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. Bad things happen when you venture into the woods. Children learn to fear the dark. Wooded areas are dark with trees that hang over your head. Think about how many cartoons we've seen where the spooky looking trees come to life and grimace while shaking their branches at someone.When our children were very young ( ages 13, 12, 3,2) we took them to a festival that was about 50 miles away. On the way home, I had my husband turn onto a different road because the highway was backed up and I didn't want us to be stuck on the highway for hours. I wasn't completely familiar with the area, but I had traveled that way as a kid and was reasonably sure that we would eventually run into something familiar. Besides, I knew that we were going in the right direction on a parallel road. Our youngest kids fell asleep, but everyone else was terrified. After I was able to recognize a road that connected with the one that my parents lived on, everyone began confessing how scared they'd been. They mentioned that it was so dark and that there were no street lights. Even hubby mentioned how the trees looked so scary when they were only illuminated by headlights.



To city folks... utter darkness is frightening!!!! As a country person that now lives in the city, I am frequently bothered by the fact that it is never actually dark in the city!I can wander through my house in the "dark" and still be able to see clearly. I truly hate streetlights!

Edited by themartianchick
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TMC, my friend is black. I was a member of a black forum awhile back and one member asked the question why he never saw black hikers on the Appalachian Trail. The other members got a great kick out of discussing this. They all talked about the snakes, bugs, the dark, wild animals, the scary night sounds, etc. and how they were afraid of them because they were unfamiliar. I guess it's a matter of where and how a person grows up.


When we were working in Maine, we had some folks from Newark, NJ from Brazil. They were terrified of the silence! They were thinning trees with brush saws. One of them cut his saw off to sharpen the blade on his first day of work. It was so quiet that he ran from the woods in terror and wouldn't work any more. He said he felt safer in the city.

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I once was permitted to park my camper on a private inholding in Dinosaur National Monument. It was purely wonderful! Later the owner let me rent a tiny cabin for a couple of yrs. Pinyon and cedar forest is a lot different from the gloomy tall tree forests. I was never afraid up there. So peaceful. Cannot abide cities at all.

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Cat, if I had seen a someone walking toward me on a deserted road while I was 'broke down' I would have been frightened too, regardless of size, shape, color or gender. Add the element of darkness...underwear change would have been needed. This ain't the 1950's anymore and there are a lot of evil people out there. Your DH is lucky they didn't panic. Keep your guard up Mr. Cat!


Annarchy, that is my favorit-est poem in the whole world! My cousin sent me a tape of Frost reading it. I have a bracelet engraved with, "And miles to go..."

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Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening is my 2nd favorite poem...My favorite is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. I learned it when I was in 5th grade and thought that it seemed to fit my life at the time. I was always different from the other kids in one way or another. All of these years later and it still fits....right down to the homesteading leanings:


The Road Not Taken

Edited by themartianchick
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My favorite poem is

The Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail by Robert Service.




though I really like a lot of his work.


I used to go on the Alaska RR up to some lonely spot and have them drop me off with a back pack. I'd catch the southbound train a few days later. Had to flag them down. I worked for the RR and got a pass whenever I wanted. One morning I woke to find bear tracks next to my bed. LOL

Edited by CrabGrassAcres
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Or try the Gutenberg site. It's free. I'm not sure which one you mean , or if it's there.





I'm very curious about how Darlene and her children feel about wooded areas, coming from the city into where people live there.



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Actually when I was younger since I camped and hiked right out of town alot of saturdays as a teen from one neighborhood I lived in, I was not worried about the woods at all except to watch out for rattlers and cougars. Its a different mix of forest and lighting and growth here and yea I obviously have an issue with plain old general anxiety, and I dont need horror movies. Im more concerned because of my physical limitations and the weather I am so sensitive to now due to health.

I do worry about jerks coming in from outside but most folks here you can generally trust in the woods, ( in regular times) unless things changed dramatically. Its not quite so safe in Plattsburgh anymore, nor in Burlington but around here its still pretty safe. People are generally friendly and it is like instant radar when people come through that are not regular summer folks or from around here, people notice them really fast. It's a different energy if they are out of their own element.


You can pick it up yards away or further if you are observant. I would come across that way in the big city or neighborhood I'm lost in, lol. Anyone used to it will notice. If someone is cruising through making observations and setting up things to take advantage, that can be difficult to ascertain. There are con artists too. They are everywhere. They will 'take' over time and anytime they feel like it.


I ask myself what is my 'radar' like more often now. I dread traveling into metro areas right now, well, I think I have some good reasons and I really am very uncomfortable doing this and if I had a choice, I would make it. I don't. Not for now. Although I needed to stay home and heal awhile. But the decision is to get out of this state to a better place but I will need to look at some places and travel to do it later, and that takes different finances which I hope come through if the nation holds it together. It will make things a good bit easier for me. Nothing grand but a lot better. Closer to normal again, in that way, for one modest person.


But I hope I get a place a bit back from the roads with some trees and a woodlot, which I would want to explore and get to know, lol, during day light hours mostly.

Yes, when its windy, stay away from the trees! These storms have been terrific lately. In fact earlier, thought I was hearing military jets fly over. Nope, you know, that roar..... well it wasn't quite like a train. Had a small twister come zipping down my creek area I guess. It missed me! :eclipsee_Victoria: I go to finally look out the window..... oh! it's already zinging its way up to the tippy top of a far ridge past the road, familar funnel , well with a horizontalish zig zag and curly twist down to the earth. OK. wow. Hey my roofs still on. Hellelujah. Some of you know my roof problem I had, gads.


If it had destroyed the roof I just would go to the woods and set up my tents , cache my stuff and build a shelter, that would just be it, lol. Some nook not far from town. bit by bit. so, yes, I think about this alot and walk that five miles out to the va clinic here. Thats when I think about the woods and swampy river branch and miles of forest and water and rock and beasts and birds for I am in it nearly. 10 feet off the road. I am surrounded. There are some great spots in between occupied land, here, lol. One can hide for years if they chose in this area, lol.

I could catch up on finances that way. :laughkick:


thanks Cat! I will go look now!

Edited by arby
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