Krist Novoselic's column on music and politics runs every Tuesday on Reverb. Check back on Friday when he writes about what he's been listening to.


Storms Will Still Be Coming and Going Long After We're Gone

Krist Novoselic's column on music and politics runs every Tuesday on Reverb. Check back on Friday when he writes about what he's been listening to.
Here in the northwest corner of the United States - storm system after system has come rolling off the Pacific bringing gray skies and cool moist air. Some people say that this kind of weather is depressing, but no gloom here, I'm happy to live in a rain forest!

Through the magic of the internet, I can find all kinds of things to distress me - and I do. Even though I live thousands of miles away, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is heart wrenching, as is the disaster that is the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. Also, where is our economy headed? So much despair and uncertainty and guess what? Like the unrelenting weather, there's really much I can do about it today.

It's getting late in the spring, but the damp weather is creating opportunities. A couple of years ago, I let this hunter onto the back 40 to pick up an elk he bagged. He's a manger of timberland and in appreciation, dropped off a sack of fifty western red cedar saplings. It's nice to get the trees, but the deal is I have to plant them and now I've got another project.

I opened the bag and noticed the poor little things are kind of brown and should have been planted sooner. Instead of pitching them, I felt sorry for them and went into "plant rescue" mode. I've got stacks of cheap plastic planting pots, so I potted the trees and, sure enough, after some care they came back. Over time, I planted a few here and there. Some are doing great, but I should have never planted near this beaver pond. Maybe it wasn't the beavers but some critter nibbled the trees down to a nub. Bastards!

Of all the big trees in these hills, the Western Red Cedar is my favorite. It's the most handsome, and can also grow in interesting shapes. This kind of cedar has a lot of utility when harvested. Its fragrant scent repels insects. This means the cedar makes good fence posts as you can bury the wood and it will last for many a year. You don't need a mill to cut large logs into posts. Straight cedar can be split long by hand with tools like a hatchet and axe. Make "shakes" out of cedar blocks for a nice roof; start a fire in the wood stove with cedar kindling that burns fast and hot to get the fir firewood going; line your closet with cedar to enjoy that nice smell and keep the moths out!

Anyway, the little cedars have been in their pots for a couple of years. By now they're getting root bound and need to get in the ground. I gave a few away and planted many earlier this spring. If it were dry and warm, I would have lost my planting window, but I found a good spot to get the last ten or so in the ground. Now the cool and wet air will ease the trees as they transition to the place where they're going to spend the rest of their lives.

I don't know who or what is going to be here in one or two hundred years. But I do know that today's calamites will be old history. I hope somebody, someday could come across the giant cedars and just enjoy their beauty. They can also use the tree to make shelter or something else useful. They'll have their moment and I'll have mine as I find the right spot, dig the little hole and place these noble trees into the earth.

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