Without endings there can be no new beginnings. We know that’s true. But it’s always hard to let go of something that is as beautiful as it is sentimental. This gorgeous spruce tree is well over 100 years old and when it died last year, we sadly knew we'd be forced to cut it down for safety purposes. We couldn’t have it falling on its own and risk damaging anything, but we knew our guests would miss it as much as we would over by the fountain near the main lodge. So leave it to Jerry and Cheri to come up with a plan to keep the heart of it here on the ranch. Rather than remove the entire thing, they commissioned an extremely talented local artist to give it a second life. With nothing but a few ideas in his head, Mark Mahorney went to work with his artist’s “brush”—a chainsaw.  104_thumb[2]136_thumb[5]006008_thumb[3] As the days passed, we were awed to watch it quickly come to life with his broad strokes while the chips flew in every direction. 068_thumb[3]071_thumb[4]115_thumb[8]017_thumb[3] The detail was incredible! We couldn’t believe what was possible with a CHAINSAW! 049_thumb[6]327_thumb[5] And just when we thought we was finishing up and it couldn’t be more beautiful? 046_thumb[5]015_thumb[4] He set it on fire. Uhhhh…..we assured him we had liked it. He was being too hard on himself…(who understands artists??) 070072074_thumb[3]     But in truth, we learned he was giving it an all natural coat of “paint” so-to-speak. The fire burned the edges smooth and gave a beautiful black surface that Mark buffed out with sandpaper and then used a sander to “highlight” areas for depth and contrast. It was amazing! 078085_thumb[3]088_thumb[10]119122 Then he added a little paint to just a few select pieces… 102_thumb[2]117_thumb[1]134132128     And suddenly? There was a totally original, absolutely INCREDIBLE piece of art where our beautiful old spruce stood. And we love how he incorporated the actual tree into the artwork as if it were—appropriately—the new home for all of the beautiful wildlife he created. 126123     Unbelievable! And if you think it’s impressive in photos—it’s NOTHING like seeing it in person. We can’t wait for our guests to see it this summer—starting in just ONE MORE WEEK! 122105116111113108106065059058056100097   So our cowboy hats off to you Mark.  Thank you for showing us the beauty that was hidden inside our historical tree. It can now continue to smile down on the guests of Bar Lazy J for another long, long time. For more of Mark’s work, check out his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/woodzwayz