Chapter Eight: Little House - Big Woods

NOTE: "Semi-Rough: A North Country Journal," is now available as a complete book, that includes these on-line essays and more. If you'd like a free pdf to download to your computer, send me a note at and I'll email you a copy.

We often describe Camp as "isolated," but that term means different things to different people, depending on one's experience with "isolation." This aerial shot of Camp (our cabin is the little silver spot at the upper left hand corner of the green field) may give you a little better idea of what we mean. If I could expand the picture to include equal acreage in all four directions you would see pretty much the same thing: more open space.

This photo looks south, and you can see about two-thirds of our property. The land under the airplane to the north looks similar to what you can see here. The photo was taken in 2000, two years after The Ice Storm of 1998 (Chapter Twelve), so our wonderful forest of 100+ year old maples is just a memory. That's the area on the (west) right hand side of the photo. You can see the skid roads that Mike Dandeneau built to salvage what wood he could get out of the area after the storm. East of our field is The Swamp: the woods there are not quite as old as they were on the hillside, but they are over 75 years old now, and it's a lovely mixed hardwood-softwood forest. North from our field (toward the plane), the line of darker green marks the former extent of the field, farmed in potatoes and timothy hay in the 1940s, but invaded by softwoods (balsam fir, spruce, hemlock) when taken out of cultivation.

Our east-west boundary is just beyond the south end of the field, in the little line of trees. Beyond us is lumber company land, mostly cut over in the 1990s (some of it salvage logged after The Ice Storm, like ours). You can see just a bit of the road that our access "road" (slightly more than wheel ruts across the forest floor) connects to, the line of white just in front of the line of tall pines. Beyond the pines is the cleared power line area that is the route of both an electrical transmission line and a gas pipeline, bringing energy across northern New Hampshire from Vermont to Maine.

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Sanford Wilbur 2022