An Annotated Portfolio & Project Documentaries

Eighteen. A Sculptural Pine Tree Biography

This little "Lodgepole" was found near Georgetown Lake, Montana. I must confess that it was alive when I came upon it. I admired it greatly and forced myself to walk away from it in search of other trees. Obviously I returned to it later, and in a heart-felt ceremony cut it and lifted in into my arms .... (The three photos in this post were taken by my gifted friend, Steve Hulse.)

This tree is in our home, a treasured piece of naturally grown sculpture. My time spent preparing it reinforced my admiration for what it had accomplished. I'm still living with a bit of guilt about taking it. In this photo, at the point of the first break in the tree coming out of the stone base, there is a round, cupped shape that I have never seen on any other tree. From there, upward, this little pine (about 30 inches tall in this photo) lived a truly tortuous (contorted) life. I consider its crooks, twists, and curls to be a heroic biography and figurative allegory.

According to Ed Ruppel, retired Montana State Geologist, the stone base is vessicular basalt from the Virginia City, Montana, lava field, 34 million years old. I thank my friend G. Karl Marcus for skillfully drilling the pilot hole in the stone.


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