The Bark Beetle Blues conclusion
Published: Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Nobody cares that the year flew by with impossible speed, very much like the warp drive kicking in on “Star Trek,” starting slowly then to infinity and beyond and, bang, it was 2014 and we were all standing around wondering what happened. We know the universe is expanding but this was too fast.
Way far back in the beginning of 2013 we planned and launched the Bark Beetle Blues project with the Custer Arts Council to help everyone deal with the emotional and physical impacts of our bark beetle catastrophe. It was time, 17 years into the siege, to communicate to the universe that we are under attack, that we know it, that we don’t like it, and that, now, in the final years of the current cycle, we are accepting our fate but doing it with positivity. We’re using blue wood to drive away the bark beetle blues.
In a master boat builder’s garage deep in the forest a 28-foot-long, 15-foot-high bark beetle made of blue wood is rising from the ground like a vision from some forester’s hell.
It is a Nautilus of the imagination of one Karl Svensson, a son of Sweden who learned to build the big wooden boats of his forebears and now uses the ancient technology to build homes of surpassing beauty, many of blue wood, a gift to carpenters everywhere from the little beetles. Karl helped Custer’s Mumm family restore the Kleemann House. Karl built a “summer home” of astounding complexity, a post and beam construction near Edgemont for an out-of-town family. Karl is leading us in giving life to a beetle that will die in a fiery furnace of a new ancient tradition on the night of Jan. 18 in the City of Custer at Pageant Hill, promptly at 5:30-ish.
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