My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Forest Junk

Bus in the middle of the woods
An old bus in the woods.

These photos were taken this fall over on the Red House side of Allegany State Park. They are off trial on the edge of the forest and an old field. Last time I saw this bus was probably 10 years ago when it was still standing upright (I have a slide of it then here somewhere . . . ).

Do you ever photograph forest junk?

Bus in the middle of the woods
Different Angle of the bus

It was funny because when I was out there photographing this bus . . . I had a Pileated Woodpecker, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Belted Kingfisher, Cedar Waxwing, and many other great birds (that I can’t remember) flying in-and-out of the shrubs around the bus! The Beaver pond looked a little abandoned and wasn’t as thriving as I remembered it 10 years ago!! Not only was it a fun spot to photograph this forest junk but also a great spot to be out enjoying nature!

Beaverpond Near the Bus
Beaver Pond near bus

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35 responses

  1. Sweet bus. I’m quite familiar with forest junk (aka burned out cars) in the forests on the rez. But I’ve never seen a bus…

    24 January 2008 at 9:30 pm


    Cool bus, I like old trucks myself!

    24 January 2008 at 9:54 pm

  3. Very cool. Great pictures. Love that you were watching nature take the bus back and listening to the birds at the same time.

    25 January 2008 at 1:01 am

  4. Junk my be an eyesore to humans, but as long as there’s not so much it becomes an environmental hazard, nature doesn’t seem to mind. I, too, photograph junk.

    25 January 2008 at 4:12 am

  5. Sometimes it does seem that our refurse dumped in the woods can be taken advantage of by wildlife, and finding an old decaying something or other can be cool, but I echo what Marivin has already been said, let’s keep the junk in the woods to a minnimum.

    25 January 2008 at 6:33 am

  6. Hmmm, sort of like sinking a boat to be an artificial reef? :c) Good hiding place for shelter, but not very appealing to the eye.

    25 January 2008 at 6:46 am

  7. Heh. We have found a lot of junk on our place. Check this one out:

    25 January 2008 at 6:57 am

  8. Junk always makes me wonder – for example, what is a bus doing in the middle of the woods? I hope the answer is not a prosaic “someone drove it there and left it because they were too lazy (or cheap) to dispose of it properly.” Surely there’s a more romantic explanation!

    25 January 2008 at 8:28 am

  9. Nice picture of the old bus. We had an old steel drum that I remember was almost new 24 years ago. Now, it has finally broken down into pieces but you can still tell what it was–takes a long time to decay.

    25 January 2008 at 8:55 am

  10. Interesting post.We have a local camera club that took a field trip to an old junkyard that is being reclaimed by nature. One of my husband’s co-workers took this picture
    I notice on Flickr that guys like taking pictures of rusty metal. I hope your bus did not have fuel/oil in it when it was abandoned.

    25 January 2008 at 9:05 am

  11. I hate seeing dumping in the woods, but this one has a lot of character. It vaguely reminds me of the bus in “Into the Wild”, although that one was still in relatively good condition (livable, even).

    And I think that beaver ponds have a natural life cycle, don’t they? Usually natural processes (floods, etc.) break down the dams at some point, ravaging the ecosystem until the beavers can rebuild – but also bringing in fresh nutrients taking out extra debris, etc. I think one that sits undisturbed for too long creates its own problems… I found an interesting article on the life cycle of a beaver pond, if you’re interested.

    25 January 2008 at 9:12 am

  12. Lisa at Greenbow

    I have not taken any pictures of forest junk. In my little corner of the world it is fairly neat and tidy. Our little town is surrounded by agricultural fields. I am lucky to even find a small patch of woods that hasn’t been drained, logged for farming. The farmers are entirely too neat in that there are few hedgerows even. There are a few junk yards. Most I think are operational so even the junk is neat.

    I like this post. It brings home the need to keep the large fuel containing objects out of our natural environment for safety. It takes a long time for these hulks of steel to melt away.

    Mary, that is a cool set of pictures that goes well with Mon@rchs post.

    I wonder if the owner of this bus used it as a camper on this site at some point??

    25 January 2008 at 9:36 am

  13. obi4240

    At my place in KY there’s an old farm wagon in the woods with trees growing through it. I’ll have to get a pic of it next time I’m there.

    25 January 2008 at 12:05 pm

  14. I kind of think that bus may have held a lot of teenage parties in its day. Maybe it was used as a camp. The pictures of it are pretty cool.

    25 January 2008 at 12:06 pm

  15. I don’t photograph junk, but if I saw that bus, I would have probably taken a few photos.

    25 January 2008 at 1:14 pm

  16. We have so much junk strewn about our forests and woodlots I try to stay way from it, but I can see where it would be an interesting challenge to photograph in a different light. 🙂

    25 January 2008 at 1:40 pm

  17. Cool photo, we sometimes find junk at a couple of local preserves around here, our favorite is an old mailbox with a Northern Cardinal picture on it!

    You Had Mail

    Up north, our farming relatives have a few cars here and there in a field, it’s been interesting to watch them rust out. (we used to play in them, gasp!)

    25 January 2008 at 2:19 pm

  18. Rustic junk in the woods is saturated with history and now shelter for wildlife, kind of ironic, garbage in nature is bad….but your photo is even charming!
    I love the pond photo as well 🙂

    25 January 2008 at 2:25 pm

  19. I’ve seen a lot of small junk in the woods, but never a bus. I’m trying to remember what the book “The World Without Us” said about how long it would take for a bus like this to fully be swallowed up by nature. Some parts take longer than others.

    25 January 2008 at 2:39 pm

  20. I don’t tend to photograph forest junk, as it usually pains my soul too much. In one case some idiots decided to torch a Chrysler van in “my” woods & subsequently almost burned the whole place down. Even now, the lovely, wooded neighborhood I live in is too often used as a toxic waste dump. I’m almost tempted to camp out overnight sometime with a video camera to see if I can catch these idiots. It makes me mad & sad at the same time.

    25 January 2008 at 3:11 pm

  21. I wonder how old it is and why it was junked in the woods!

    25 January 2008 at 7:48 pm

  22. Rusty junk is one of my favorite photographic subjects. I prefer it to be in run down ghost towns rather than trail-side, however! 🙂 I like the way the first photo really speaks to the bus being reclaimed by the forest.

    25 January 2008 at 8:17 pm

  23. Grace

    One March when I walked this trail with some campers, a mink accompanied us. When we got to the beaver pond, which was half frozen over, the mink dived in, caught a minnow, hopped back out on the ice, shook his fur dry, ate the minnow and hopped back in. After about the 3rd repeat we were ROFL.

    Another time when I visited this bus there were porcupine quills inside, lots of them.

    25 January 2008 at 11:00 pm

  24. Amazing how trees just grow up around that junk and it makes you wonder how it got there in the first place.

    25 January 2008 at 11:11 pm

  25. Moe

    There is a fine line between litter / pollution and nice “junk.” I can’t explain it the difference, but I know it when I see it. Nice junk like the picture here is great – it actually looks very nicely and is definitely a home for lots of different wildlife from time to time. Yeah, sort of like a sunken artificial reef!

    26 January 2008 at 12:00 am

  26. That is a really neat picture. I do take pictures of junk. I always liked going to junkyards with my Dad when I was little to explore. ~nita~

    26 January 2008 at 4:55 pm

  27. Oh, yeah. All the time. One of my favorite haunts, the Cincinnati Nature Center, used to be private property about 100 years ago, and you can come across old plows, etc. It’s weird but cool to be surrounded by nature and suddenly you are staring at some human “remains”.

    27 January 2008 at 12:05 am

  28. It amazes me how the forest decorates and absorbs junk until it looks like it almost grew there. We have two ancient pick up trucks sitting in our lane (waiting for someone to have time to drag them in and restore them to their former glory). I like them.

    27 January 2008 at 7:46 am

  29. @ Nick – This has also been my only bus!
    @ John – was cooler when upright!
    @ Liz – thanks and it is great just being outside!
    @ Marvin – thanks and my only worry finding junk is the bio hazards that go into the ground like batteries, oil, etc..
    @ Vern – I always seem to find junk around old farms and I such agree!
    @ Jayne – I remember the first time I saw this . . . I was like “what?”
    @ Rurality – Thanks and will check out!
    @ Wren – If I remember right it broke down out there and soon became a hunting camp! Then it just became too run down and the access into this area was very limited! I am surprised what is out there is still there.
    @ Joan – Rust happens fast with our cars but stuff like this doesn’t! Makes me wonder what was in that drum?
    @ Ruth – reclaimed by nature . . like that! Will check out flickr and back then those things probably were not that important.
    @ Marty – I hate finding it also but also realize it must have some history behind it (trying to make good with older bad decisions). I think this pond in particular did have a run of its cycle running out of food! That would be my guess!
    @ Lisa – how wonderful and great to know you had good stewards of the forest before you purchased it. I have heard about this becoming a hunting camp for a while but 10 years ago when I saw it . . . it was very close to falling apart! There was no way I was going to get close!
    @ obi – farms always seem to have junk in the woods! Thanks
    @ Linda – It is a little remote for kid parties but for sure it had been used as a hunting camp by some people!
    @ Mary – it was hard not to photograph! Thanks
    @ Bernie – lighting can be tough for sure in the forest! Challenges are always what I like!
    @ Birdfreak – that mail box didn’t look all that old! I probably would have taken it and used it today! I so agree, farms always have the most junk!
    @ Chicago – thanks and interesting how things work together! I bet a bunch of mice, etc.. are using that bus! Probably the city life for the mice that live out in the woods! Hmm, I wonder if that would make a great Disney movie?
    @ Robin – sounds like a great book and some parts do take much longer! Wouldn’t it be fun to dig deep into the ground to find buried things? The history behind them all!
    @ Lana – so sorry to hear about your idiots and I understand your frustration!
    @ Pam – My guess is that it has been there for a VERY long time since that road back into the woods has been closed for about forever!
    @ Adam – isn’t rust a great color? Thanks
    @ Grace – How much fun and I would have loved to seen all that! Thanks for sharing!
    @ Toni – I so agree and for sure those trees were not there when the bus broke down!
    @ Moe – It is probably nice or better junk than when it first broke down . . . lost all its gas, battery fluids leaked! But I agree, it is neat seeing now!
    @ Nita – Junk yards are fun but you do need to be careful there! Stuff isn’t stacked all that good there!
    @ Susan – Humans are not the smartest but do hope we are a little better now days than back then! Thanks
    @ Threecollie – absorbs junk for sure and this is a perfect example of it! I really need to try and find that old slide I took when it was still standing!

    27 January 2008 at 11:27 am

  30. Forest junk sometimes make the scenery that much more appreciated. And I happen to photograph the junk too. Especailly rusty junk. Makes it interesting.

    27 January 2008 at 12:59 pm

  31. @ barb – I also love the rusty things! Thanks!

    27 January 2008 at 10:08 pm

  32. Too much forest junk around here! Many farmers that have a wooded area adjacent to their fields use the woods as a dumping ground. Why pay to have that stuff hauled away when you can just throw it in the woods?? It makes me sad to see that kind of stuff.

    29 January 2008 at 9:00 am

  33. I’ve never photographed junk in the forest, but I have been known to photograph junk and debris underwater. Those images don’t exactly qualify as “pretty” but they do tell a story.

    30 January 2008 at 12:43 am

  34. @ Ruthie – For sure Farm’s are very bad at leaving forest junk in the woods!
    @ Bobbie – Junk seems to be everywhere now days . . . including in the outer space!

    30 January 2008 at 4:58 pm

  35. I do photograph Forest Junk..
    I love your BLOG
    and am adding it to my faves
    on my Nestled
    I’ll be back again and again..
    fondly, Deena

    6 February 2008 at 9:06 pm

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