Trimming the Tree
Rhode Island has a long history with Christmas trees - err, Holiday trees?
But on Block Island, there’s no dispute that the festooned, towering structure overlooking the ferry dock in Esta’s Park is a lobster pot tree. Built by island artist Harold “Turtle” Hatfield (who also built the park) out of still-functioning traps borrowed from local lobsterman and restaurateur Freddy Howarth, the sculpture is bedecked with multicolored LED lights, colorful buoys found on beaches and items left by visitors. “You can see it as soon as you come around the bluff from the ferry, a half-hour out, especially if it’s dark,” says Hatfield, who sets it all up with volunteers over Thanksgiving weekend. Topped with an upside down fish bucket with stars cut into it and a high flyer — an aluminum pole used for marking traps — the attraction repurposes odds and ends from the lobstering industry into an objet d’art. It’s green in more ways than one.