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The party place

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.


  1. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran August 28, 2017 2:31 am

    Looks like primo property! There is a price to pay for waterfront property. The Finger Lakes region is just south of where I live and property values and taxes for lakefront property on the lakes are sky high, so much so that many property owners can’t stay and enjoy their places have to rent them out during the summer to vacationers in order to raise the money to pay for the property taxes. Just to the north of where I live is Lake Ontario and due to a very rainy spring and summer and also the International Joint Commission that kept the water level at a higher level during the winter than ever before, property owners along the lake have experienced flooding and waves pounding against their houses and property damage. Some houses were washed into the lake and land was eroded away due to the high water level. BTW, those lakefront property owners also pay high property taxes as well.

  2. david
    david August 28, 2017 5:52 am

    There appears to be the face of a wolf with donkey sized ears, right above the first bend in the tree. What’s up with that?

  3. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2017 7:00 am

    David — I think that’s just an illusion caused by tangled branches. I didn’t see it while taking the photo. It’s definitely odd, now that you point it out.

  4. larryarnold
    larryarnold August 28, 2017 9:11 am

    One of the things I check when buying a home is whether it’s well above the official flood plain and not in the path of heavy drainage.

    That’s paying off handsomely this weekend.

  5. Ellendra
    Ellendra August 28, 2017 9:19 am

    “One of the things I check when buying a home is whether it’s well above the official flood plain and not in the path of heavy drainage.”

    That was one of my non-negotiables, too. My farm may be near-vertical in spots, but it will never flood!

  6. Comrade X
    Comrade X August 28, 2017 10:40 am

    Artists that blow up stuff is a very unusual mixed now a days for sure.

  7. Desertrat
    Desertrat August 29, 2017 8:20 pm

    A friend of mine used to build 3″ black powder cannons. Surplus barrels from the Navy; so, rifled.

    I’ve seen three-shot cloverleafs at 200 yards. No trouble keeping shots close together at 1,000 yards.

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