Man Discovers Unusual Bump On Tree And Continues To Dig

By: Ann Bernard | Last updated: Nov 20, 2023

Most of us have little to no idea of what it takes to be a lumberjack. Their days involve felling trees and preparing the wood for the lumber mill, and it’s tough and physical work.  

But there can be some rewards, especially if, like Tony Markins, you find something unusual inside a tree that piques your interest. Tony spent hours digging through the remains of that tree. 

Lumberjack Tony Markins

Tony Markins, 43 years old, was grateful for his job as a lumberjack. He got to be outdoors, keep in good physical shape, and work with a great team. It wasn’t particularly exciting to fell trees all day, but he felt good about his work.  


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The job was certainly never boring. Each tree presented new logistical and physical challenges, and his team worked together well. In addition, once in a while someone on the team would uncover an interesting find in the forest and share it with the others.  

A Risky Job

For Tony, working an office job was never an option. He could not see himself behind a desk all day. He loved being outside, working with his hands, handling the physical work, and interacting with a team. 


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Like all lumberjacks, Tony was keenly aware of the dangers of the job; they all go through training in safety practices. The possibility of something going wrong, though, did make the job a bit more exciting. But Tony didn’t know how exciting things could get.

A Day Like Any Other

It was a November morning when this story begins. Tony got to the work site, donned his protective gear, and got started on his assignments. Tony loved the smells and sights of lumberjacking- the thousands of tall trees and the scent of the trees and grass.  


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Even with his ear protection on, he could hear the steady hum of the chainsaws and the men shouting to each other as they worked. Little did he know that a few trees over from where he stood, he’d stumble upon something extraordinary. 

Tony Takes a Break

At one point, Tony was tired, not to mention hot, sweaty, and covered in sawdust. He decided it was time to take a break and get something to drink. He turned off his chainsaw and walked toward the water dispenser.


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As he walked carefully over the trees, he spotted one that looked different. Spending his life around trees, he knew something about it was wrong. For one thing, its bark was exceptionally dark, and it was taller than the other trees.

The Lumpy Tree

As he moved closer, Tony noted that the tree was covered in bumps he could not recognize. The bumps were sticking out from the tree in odd shapes and were covered with thick moss. What was going on?   

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Tony was stumped. He’d been lumberjacking for over ten years and had never seen a tree like this one. He looked at the trees nearby to see if they had similar deformities, but they didn’t. This was the only one, and it was surely a mystery. 


Was it a Sick Tree?

At first, Tony reasoned that the tree had bark cankers, which are sections of dead bark on tree trunks. Cankers are a common problem that afflicts many trees, but for lumberjacks, it’s usually ignored, and the tree is cut down anyway. 


However, for those who have trees on their properties, bark cankers can be dangerous. They are a sign that the tree trunk has begun to rot, which implies that the tree could fall on a home or car. So, Tony looked closer. 


Taking a Closer Look

Although Tony hadn’t seen anything like this before, it didn’t worry him. He decided that after his break, he’d just put his gear back on and resume work. He needed to finish up so he could go home.

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But Tony couldn’t stop thinking about that lone tree with the strange lumps. He just knew that he’d need to go back and examine it. In his mind, the tree was hiding something interesting and unusual. Tony was right, but what he found was totally unexpected.  


Felling the Strange Tree

Tony took it upon himself to go ahead and cut down the mysterious tree. To his surprise, it was easier than most trees to cut into. It didn’t take him long to cut down the tree, yelling “Timber!” to his coworkers.  

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The tree plunged to the ground with a loud thumping sound. Now that it was on the ground, Tony was even more curious to look inside the trunk and see what was going on. He just knew this was going to be a unique experience.  


Examining the Trunk

The tree, being one of the tallest around, made a much bigger reverberation throughout the forest when it fell to the ground. All of the other members of Tony’s team stopped their work to look at this mammoth trunk.

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Now that the tree was down, Tony rushed to look at the exposed trunk. He knew right away that something was odd. This trunk did not look normal, and his curiosity only grew at that point. He had to find out the story of this tree.  


Making a Discovery

Tony was astounded; this was something he’d never seen. At the center of the trunk, there was a large gash. Incredibly, the tree had formed a layer around the gash, almost as if to protect it.  

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The rings of the tree were clear, so Tony could figure out how old it was. By counting the rings, he estimated the tree to be anywhere from 30 to 35 years old. That was good information, but there was more. As Tony peered at the gash, he saw something shiny. 


Now It’s Getting Exciting

Looking more closely, Tony examined the shiny object embedded in the gash. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and his excitement rose. Could it be what he thought it was? Was that possible?  

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Without thinking, Tony took out his pocket knife and dug the shiny object out of the tree. He realized he’d come across something totally unique, and had to find out what he’d discovered. He still couldn’t believe he’d stumbled across this odd tree by accident.


What is the Shiny Object?

Tony removed the shiny item carefully, not wanting to cut or scratch It. He realized his chainsaw had missed it by just a few inches and had almost cut it in half. Tony now had the object in his hands and was desperate to find out more.   


Tony studied the object under the bright sunlight to figure out what he was holding. Then, he called his team over to show it to them and see what they thought of it. 


Digging into the Trunk

As Tony’s team walked over to see what he was holding, Tony kept peering into the tree trunk and suddenly realized that much more had been hidden inside that tree. 

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Using his pocket knife, he began to remove even more objects. Tony pried out another three metal lumps. He held them in his hands, turning them. He then held them toward the sky, watching as they glistened and caught the sun’s reflection. But he still had no idea what the metal lumps could be.


Figuring it Out

He turned to the others and asked if anyone knew what the object was. He was hoping someone would recognize the substance or have a clue about it. He was just sure that he had stumbled across something important.


One of the other lumberjacks took a piece from Tony and looked at it carefully, but was just as mystified as Tony. Then, one of the older members of the team took a look. As soon as he held the silver item, he announced exactly what it was. 


A Vague Reply

This older man took a closer look at the silver piece and began to laugh. Tony couldn’t imagine what the joke was. Had he uncovered something so unimportant that his friend was having a good laugh at him for being so excited?


The man just stood there grinning, then said, “Someone was bored.” OK, now this was getting weird. This piece of metal was 36 years old and embedded inside tree bark. Tony finally asked, “Feel like clueing in the rest of us?” 


A Good Laugh

The older lumberjack smiled and said, “Some guys come out here hunting. And if they don’t get anything, they get bored and fire at trees.” 

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The rest of the team started laughing, including Tony. He had simply stumbled upon bullets from a 36-year-old rifle. He was a bit disappointed, but still had a feeling that the tree was hiding other mysteries, and he wasn’t giving up.


Will Tony Give Up?

Tony was dealing with his disappointment over his first find, yet still wanted to find out more. If the tree was hiding bullets, it could be hiding other items, as well. There were a lot of bumps on that tree. 

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So, out came the chainsaw, and Tony kept at it. Maybe there was something else, something valuable or more interesting than bullets, underneath the other bumps. As it happens, Tony’s curiosity won out, and he was on his way to discovering a real treasure. 


Tony Keeps Digging

As Tony dug into the wood, peeling away each layer, he found eight more rounds stuck inside the tree.  Now, was someone truly that bored?  Maybe something else was going on, and it was more significant.  

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When he dug all the way to the bottom of the huge tree trunk, he made the discovery he knew was waiting for him. It was something that had been waiting to be found for 30 years, and Tony was the lucky explorer. 


Finally the Last Layer

As he was finding the bullets, Tony piled them up to remove them from the natural environment. Something bothered him about bullets in a beautiful forest. He felt satisfied that he had persevered and kept cutting into that tree trunk because something was definitely there. 


Although having the bullets in the woods bothered him, his discovery, which was definitely not part of nature, gave him pause. There was something in that tree that should not have been there, but it was fascinating. 


OK, This is Not a Bullet

Tony had dug all the way through the stump of the tree and started cleaning it off when he saw something odd. It sparkled in the sunlight and caught his eye. It was definitely metallic, but it didn’t look like another bullet.  


The metallic item was covered in soil, so he swept the dirt away to touch it. This was definitely not a bullet, but something much larger. What had he found? Was it going to be worth all the searching?  


Beautiful Carvings

Tony wiped off the object with the closest thing he had to a good rag – the end of his shirt. As he wiped off the dirt, he noticed that the object had some intricate carvings. At that point, he knew exactly what he was holding.  


He was blown away. What was something so valuable doing, stuck under a tree in this huge forest? Tony knew he had found something special and couldn’t wait to show his team.


This Looks Valuable

By the looks of the intricate metallic design, Tony knew he was holding something unique. It was quite beautifully made, so it had to be valuable, not to mention that someone had hidden it or lost it over 30 years earlier.  

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As he wiped off more dirt, he noticed a needle inside the metal case. And, the needle was moving!  Someone had lost or hidden this gorgeous piece of hunting equipment long ago. What was it?


A Well-Made Compass

It was a compass, but what a compass this was! Beautifully crafted, heavy-duty, and still working like the day it was made. 

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That compass had been lodged in the roots of that tree, probably lost there when a hunter or hiker dropped it by accident. Imagine all of the rain and snow that compass had endured. And with each year, it had gotten buried deeper and deeper, until Lumberjack Tony came along.


Whose Compass Was It?

Tony dearly wanted to return this valuable item to its owner, but, of course, he had no way of figuring out who that was. He examined the item for a name, a date, or something else to identify the owner but had no luck.  

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His teammates were busy, so Tony put the compass in his coat and kept working. That night when he came home, he decided he’d take it to an antique expert. 


Unique Piece

The antique specialist looked at the compass carefully and wrote down notes. Tony was nervous, wondering what the man would say about his treasure. When the specialist finished his examination, he smiled at Tony. 


What he told Tony was that the compass was actually over 100 years old!  As a unique piece of craftsmanship, he estimated that it was worth around $200. Tony was ecstatic, but he wanted to keep the compass for himself to remind him of the treasure hunt.


Looking to the Future

What started out as just another workday ended up being one of the most special days in Tony’s life. His decision to continue the treasure hunt brought him a true find, and he was proud of himself for that.  

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Tony is a man with perseverance and determination. These qualities led him to make an incredible discovery on a regular workday. We hope these qualities lead him to find lots of valuable treasures in the future.