Unlikely shapes in the forest canopy have long fueled myths and folklore, and a classic example was found on Bald Mountain in southwest Maine.
Photographer Steve Yenco says he was hiking Sunday, Jan. 15, in the Rangeley Lakes Region when he looked up and saw a “perfectly balanced” log sitting horizontally in the trees.
“A good 25 to 30 feet up,” he told McClatchy News. “It was kind of jaw dropping to me to see such a large branch just hanging there.”
Yenco shared a photo on Facebook, showing the limb was 15 to 20-foot-long, giving if a slithering appearance..
Cryptozoologists maintain such oddities found deep in the woods are likely the handiwork of a Bigfoot, a half man, half animal that has never been proven to exist.
However, Yenco’s two decades of experience as a wildlife photographer in Maine and New Hampshire has given him a more down-to-earth perspective.
“It was broken tree top most likely from a winter storm last year,” he says.
The formation will be familiar to avid nature enthusiasts, he says, and is historically known as a “widow maker.”
“A widow maker in logging terms is described as a broken limb or tree top that gets hung up in the branches,” Yenco said. “When dislodged, it could easily fall on a lumberjack working below, thus making his wife a widow.”
“Widow makers” should be avoided and are considered most dangerous during periods of “high winds and snowfall,” both of which are common in the mountains of Maine.
Yenco’s Facebook post has gotten hundreds of reactions and comments, including some who noted the limb easily could be mistaken for something alive in the trees.
“Almost looks like a flying snake!” Judy Danao wrote.
“More reason to stay away!” Sherry McAvoy said.
Bald Mountain is about 135 miles west of Bangor.
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