Bates County , is a probably very normal in some regards ,, there are the places of sculpted beauty, but they are few and far between,,  there are also places that  test the  nerve, and the  spirits  resilience, areas that leave you with the eerie feeling you’ve strayed across a line.

snow crusts the ground of a hillside, leading to a small flat area in a circle of trees, above this clearing a round red ball hangs in the air. Its outline is defined in one of the two images. this( pulsing) organ like object of lumpy but connected matter, can more easiliy be seen in the thumbnail. It was also photographed threough the branches of a tree wall, i shot through the opening after seeing an odd reddish reflection on the shot before, once in the right position i could see the lumpy sphere

In my early 20’s i began to become aware of a larger more complicated world, i grew to sense thing’s , (strongly at times).  I gained a hap hazard sort  of sight, that manifested itself at odd times without effort. One experience was a night id seen  a pile of iron and tires, next to my best friends house, as i sat in the car waiting for him outside his fathers  home.

I made a comment, about it saying something like ( man you guys are gonna get a fine if you leave that Stuff out there, )Grandview was tightening its belt, taking on the airs of a big city.   And he said back to me, What stuff,? I told him it was the garbage out to the side of his house, easily seen from the street, even at night.   We had been having this conversation as he was driving away, and he went back around the block, to prove me wrong,, we pulled by his house again,

(there was no way i could have seen it, the tire’s wheels and iron,,because there was a 5 to  6 ft high section of fence there a small partial fence that reached from the side of the house to the tree a few feet away.  Nothing,,, was visible until we walked up and looked behind it.  )Id seen the stuff but not the fence.

Parts of Bates County , are  for the  sensitive a nightmare,  it is a place  where caution is not only nesseccary,  but essential.  For  those looking with camera and intuition ,,to those  capable of discerning its true face, It can reveal body sized bundles, not carpet rolls, but objects wrapped, pods, being loaded across fences, and figures skulking about around odd locations, you’ll find the brutal and beautiful artwork on rocks , The work of soul with a vicious  longing to subdue ,and  sometimes in its excess, the spill over of a torturer dreams.  The pieces are   strangely similar, found in our cemetary , near the quarry,  in the Virginia Missouri township, in Appleton, and other towns throughout the county. surely a wanderer, or a citizen who living in complete anonymity steals away to feed this desire, and prepare places for his real work.  The placement of these painted or drawn upon rocks,(  One’s we’ve featured here before in photo’s,, )indicate they are created  by someone who  crouches in creek beds beneath bridges, and in culverts,,with nothing of comfort , and carrion almost  always at hand..But to the land this is nothing new,  Its trees, some hundreds of years old, have looked down on strife and degeneracy,and crimes of man against man for centuries,,,  secrets that the land has no choice but to keep.

But it doesn’t bear this burden silently,  It lifts the gossamer sheer of natures beauty occasionally to show that there is egress from many avenues, not familiar , not obvious to the  eye .  From pits in the ground, the water,, the trees and woods themselves, and the very air, all seem to be more hiding places at times,  than the pillars of our rural world.

All  tinged like a nightclub singers suits, with the residue reek of the bar, worked deep irretrievably into the fabric  of both twig and branch,a miasma  as inescapable as the odds of  a cold in a crowded room of the sick.  The water throws up orbs,of  spirits, who were crippled  by  relationships and the wars of life, left  during a final nocturnal visit  to drift to the silty floor of both river and stream.  They surface to glow above the water, possibly above the stretches of the bottom where  the bones of their  corpses ly semi covered,  fixed in the mire of a permanently muddy world.

To pad along the trails is to fight thorn-bush, and weed, crumbling fence posts, of property lines long forgotten, . There is a profusion of the disposed,as though the very people living there had a thought or care to what might meet the eye’s of their young or their children’s children. The remains of machine and animal alike,  roads more like paths through a junk yard, one stretched over miles.   A cow’s head leaning against the crumbling  remains of an old wringer washer, two of its legs rusted through, it lies on its side next to the carrion , It, now houses small animals that use it for a moments shelter, or  as a deposit box,  for something quickly stashed , and soon retrieved..

A concrete based ditch , it is  small and the bridge is  adjacent to a tree, whose branches hold the carelessly flung remains of a deer, before it dried, to jerky like uselessness, many battles took place on  the ice around it  for what tough stringy  treasure’s that still clung to the bones.  doughtlessly some combatant crawled away, un-victorious  in the bitter cold to add new  minerals to of the forest floor, as the spring thaw began.

But these are the natural  remembrances of both thatch and rock,     There are others,,,,,,,    Angry couples that come together to rage and cry beneath the  ancient branches,and would the oaks and elm’s  have cried out if they could, when only one left the scene , and a carelessly dropped high heel was left in the tall grass,   the forest will remember’s.

It knows  these stories  , and ones far stranger,,,, it knows of unexplained lights and horrors that pursue the unwary.Often told in the bark and branches of their own forms, ,,, The back of a woman in the position of running, her white skinned form clear and large  there on the the round wound of a removed branch.  Her dark  flowing hair, and proportion to limb, all of an artists quality but its origin not based in pigment, but the essence of the tree.  Trees that are  broken and dead and lying in wait on the forest floor, but even then leafless  talk to us, men and wemon can be found the shapes of their bodies , in almost natural poses of human repose, still struggling  to call out from their prison,Or perhaps they are natures conscience, a warning of past deeds or present danger.  some are partially revealed tortured faces frozen in an eternal moan locked within wood and bark,, angry faces and violent arms, and( Eyes).like mummies wrapped in wood.     Bayful grim orbs slanted in anger,  features that repel, that warn with the other pleading faces of possibilities we  should dare not court.

These woods are not  what they were, perhaps they were once more,,  perhaps the presences that now frequent these areas, are changing them as well.   A slope leading through a gauntlet of winter blasted  trees large and small,  a primitive ladder constructed in full view,along ones tree’s side to the left,,  the remaining crust of a past snow below. This hillside rises  to a flat spot ,, and above it looming  in the air  some 20  to 30 ft from the ground a large reddish ball, lost in leafless branches.  not the classic shiny sphere’s of ufology, but a pulsing throbbing surface not smooth or machined  but as though a thousand large chunks of rounded tissue had connected to form a ball, with the same translucency that some meat has. Something quite possibly  a hard misunderstood material,  but also  maybe  made of  some pliable ,, of organic matter.

Like a large organ full of blood it hovered there in the air, across the fence and up the hill, this was no psychic  gift of vision but a very real object our camera captured on more than one occasion.    Was there more to learn, of course,  i might have found more than we really wanted to know, The kind of information that does no-one any good, the kind that claims you. .  Instead sometimes,(sometimes i say ,not all the time,) we are addled on the verge of decision, It’s almost as though were silently directed away.     And later when viewing the film, we know something was wrong because there are just too many times we have left a scene, when leaving was the poorest decision, one we would never have chosen,until our safety became a serious concern. not with the find at hand.  It is almost, as though we forgot what we were doing.?

We may not glean all the facts from our trips that we would love to absorb, , we apparently leave much behind at times that could be gained, but by no  fault of our own that were aware of.   the skies taste the exhaust of their machines, the woods have broken paths  brutally carved through them,wide paths of open space and shattered limbs  and once two identical tree’s were laid over their roots exposed  bent to the same 45 degree angle as though something had backed into them.  The idea of a vehicle, a car or truck doing this is  impossible, because these trees were across a ditch, and up a very steep slope  nearly 7 to 8 ft high.  large trees are occasionally found  laid over as if something passes through,barred by nothing. The ground and trees  must absorb as surely as they do the rain the radioactivity, of each tour ,the presence of exhaust, and the road melting heat of some passing,, ,  Again all this matters little   whether we are there to see it or not , There are eyes that record it all              rock , stream and tree remember.