Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Pagan Ritual

Laura and I started out (back in 1988) buying live Afghan pine trees for our Druidic solstice tree-decorating ritual, but after a few years we ran out of locations for new trees.  So in recent years, instead of a pine tree, we've been using a juniper branch ritually harvested from a nearby juniper tree.  At 4000 feet we are marginally in the juniper belt, and juniper trees grow only on north-facing slopes.  Our closest juniper trees are about a mile up the highway, on the north face of what we call Graffiti Cliffs, so named because of the graffiti that used to be spraypainted on the rocks.

Here is our Paul Bunyan, carrying his mighty bow saw, accompanied by his loyal wonder dog Sheila.  Our goal is the tree in the upper-left corner.

Here we find Paul posing next to the tree, giving everybody a good look at his mighty bow saw.

The deed is done.  Paul shows us the Chosen Branch, and an even better look at the bow saw with which he accomplished the deed.

"Holes in the Rock."  We do have some spectacular scenery around here.

View up the river from the tree spot.  It's quite a climb to the tree, but the climb is part of the ritual.