***We had initally placed this cache on September 23, 2007. While placing it j noticed another geocacher hanging around. When he got back to Manitoba and submitted it for publishing quess what? Another cache had been placed within 60 metres. Who wouda thunk? We were going to remove the cache, but as this is such an unusual place 2 caches will bring more people out. We have just moved it to within the guidelines.This location was then bulldozed before it was found. Hopefully 3rd time will be lucky****
WELCOME to SASKATCHEWAN'S CROOKED BUSH, a clump of mutated aspens that grow in every direction but up. The result is a tangled mess of gnarled tree trunks and bent branches. No wonder the cattle are not interested in grazing in this bush. Even the most athletic Holstein would take one look at what it would take to navigate and wander off in the other direction.
Some of the tree trunks here shoot up only half a foot or so, before taking a right-angle detour. Why grow straight up when you can grow straight sideways? Locals first noticed the strange trees in the 1940s, and the aspens have been changing directions ever since. As the years passed, some trees decided they didn't want to grow sideways anymore, they would rather twist skyward. Or perhaps downward. So they do, until they decide otherwise and change direction again.
Other tree trunks in this grove take a softer approach to geometry, with squiggles or gentle arches. One of these arches sweeps so low that only children can zip along the pathway in the bush without bonking their heads on the deformed trunk. If one of the Seven Dwarfs got married in Saskatchewan, the bride and groom would take wedding pictures under this little arch.
There are competing theories on why these trees are all knotted up. "Some say a flying saucer flew over the area and changed the chemistry of earth beneath the roots," says an information sign posted inside the bush. "Was it a lightening [sic] strike? Is it radioactive?" the sign asks.
Aliens make for a good story, but the scientific set does not buy the argument that the trees are demented because extraterrestrials used this area as an intergalactic pit stop.
"The current hypothesis is that these shoots aren't strong enough to hold themselves up, so they start to bend over. While these may be mutated with a weak wood gene, scientists do not know why that mutation developed in the first place.
Hafford's bizarre trees, roughly 60 or 70 years old, are now about 15 or 20 feet tall. Aspens that grow vertically usually hit 20 or 25 feet after about 15 years. But Hafford's crooked trees are not growing less, they just do not grow straight.
Cache is a camoed lock & lock container which iinitially contains FTF certificate, Log book, pencil, and a few tradeables. Since we replaced this cache on our vacation FTF Certificate will be emailed. Cache will be maintained by cacher "seeing eye dog"