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PineHenge Revisited

Jeeter explores Pinehenge in Fall 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

I live over 150 miles from the Gulf, so it was quite a shock when we were hit so hard by Hurricane Katrina.

We were without power for eleven days.  Our rental house and shop next door were crushed beneath giant tree carcasses.

After it was all over, we took down three large pines with 30″ average diameter.  They were simply too close to the house for comfort.

“Ignorance is bliss” as they say and if Katrina hadn’t come along, we might have continued to co-exist with the pines.

After Katrina, we were painfully aware of the scope of damage that can be sustained when a 100′ tall pine falls onto a small wood frame house 10′ away.

The remnants of Pinhenge five years down the road will probably not survive our New Year's Eve bonfire.

So the pines had to go.

The power company removed one near the drive that was a threat to the electrical line.  I soon learned that if the power company takes out a tree, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to clean it up.

The side yard was demolished.  My friend Keith worked with me for several weeks to clean up the debris.

We hauled trunk sections to our regular burning spot and arranged them in a ring around the fire place.  We called this configuration PineHenge.

For the last five years PineHenge has been our monument to Katrina and to the pines who gave their lives that we might have peace of mind.

I have burned many privet fires within the PineHenge ring.  The smaller trunk sections are gone or partly gone now.  The largest have dried to the point where they are lighter and, thus, movable.

How many rings do you see?

We are planning a New Year’s Eve bonfire.   It will be a hot one due to a recent clearing project which has produced a good bit of dried bamboo kindling.

As I was surveying the burning place a few days ago it suddenly occurred to me that this fire is likely to be PineHenge’s last ride.

PineHenge will go out with a blast on New Year’s Eve five years after Katrina.

As the flames engulf the last of the pine monoliths, I imagine I will be remembering Katrina and the stately pines that I allowed to grow too close to my house.


 

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