That’s an Indian burial tree, so yesterday’s host told me. I wasn’t able to find out a lot about it, though it resembles Indian marker trees, but with the bend higher up, and I know some tribes did “bury” their dead in trees or on scaffolds.
Anyhow, there were quite a few of these around the barbecue pavilion at the house where the cannon shoot took place. All cedars. An archaeologist told my hosts the trees were only about 250 years old and therefore had probably been prepared for burials but never actually used. Somehow that made it slightly less spooky sitting under them munching coleslaw and bbq meatballs.
Here’s the front yard of the place:
Some people have it good, eh?
OTOH, you will not be surprised to learn that these very nice people have it so good only because they’re able to afford to
buy off comply with the endless demands of federal, state, and county ‘crats.
Their enormous property is not only waterfront and therefore sensitive, but on a “historic” site and therefore sensitive, and has a salmon-spawning stream and therefore sensitive. And who knows what other kinds of sensitive. Before being “allowed” to do the most innocuous and even helpful things, like remove old barriers to open the stream to fish again, they were required by various laws to hire not one but two archaeologists (“one federal and one private”), for thousands of dollars at each go. I do believe the host would have bent my ear for hours about the absurdities of the endless bureaucracy if I’d have stood still long enough. Bottom line (and somehow he expected me to be surprised by this): “There are so many laws and regulations, and they change so rapidly, that even the people who are supposed to be enforcing them don’t know what they are.”
And oh, the endless, endless applications, permits, inspections, escalating expenses, and general interference!
Anyhow, the property was vast and beautiful, but with those complications you couldn’t have paid me to own it.
The cannon shoot was fun but sort of a dud as we could barely hit anything. The cannon itself was a 1/3-sized replica of one from Admiral Nelson’s flagship. It made lotso noise and when it did occasionally hit something, it made an extremely serious hole in it. Blew a watermelon sky high, too.
The artist thing? That didn’t come to much. Several of the people present were artists — and quite good ones. I got a tour of their works in the house. Very well done and well presented. But as good as the artists were, art is a hobby for them and a chance to get together and drink wine. The only one who had a studio and made a business of her work didn’t make it to the party. Not much there for me to follow up on, I think.
So I came home and have been painting trim and hammering shingles ever since.
It’s been a gorgeous weekend.
Please pardon the crappy photo quality. My camera died — of the thing all those cheap little point-and-shoots die of, “lens error” — and I took these pix with my dumbphone.