Saturday, September 5, 2009

ar·bor·glyph [ ärberglif ]

What is an arborglyph you ask? Well, arborglyph means tree writing. And you can find them throughout the Western United States. Many of them have been made by immigrant shepherds tending their flocks amidst alpine aspens. This aspen was carved on July 4, 1972. I found it up near Stanley in the White Cloud Mountains. Think about it. You're isolated for months at a time, up in the mountains, no one to talk to, nothing but trees and a few thousand hungry grazing sheep. You can't tell me you've never been tempted to write your name in wet concrete, a bathroom wall, a campsite picnic table, a restaurant that provides butcher paper and crayons as the tablecloth. Now imagine you are that isolated immigrant shepherd, speaking a foreign language and you finally find someone to talk to. Well it's unlikely that someone would be fluent in your native language. So how would you make your mark, let the world know you're here, that you exist and you have something to say? You've got a sharp tool and there are thousands of trees - fresh slates that are begging you to introduce yourself. Well, let me introduce you to Eusebio Goiogana, from the Basque Country. "Great to meet you, Eusebio! Welcome, welcome!"

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