I'm in the tiny town of Volcano, California (2010 population: 115), doing a book arts workshop: today was day one of five. I attended the same workshop last year, and it was so fun, I had to come back. (In the post I link to here, I said I'd try to create my own design for this year's project. Well, that ain't happening. But I'm learning new techniques. And I will end up with a book I'm happy with, whatever it takes! It's all good.)
And . . . it's also good to be here!
I love Volcano, especially on a beautiful spring day. It was established during the Gold Rush, and in the next several years thousands came to seek their fortune. By 1857, however, the town was already beginning to decline, as signaled by the shutting down of the newspaper. Today, there are two hotels (at the town's height, there were seventeen), a scattering of homes, a small grocery, a post office (originally established in 1851), and a Civil War cannon named "Old Abe," cast in 1837. It's the only cannon of its age still on a nineteenth-century wooden carriage. Volcano is a town of several California firsts: first theater group, debating society, and circulating library (1854); first private schools and private law school (1855); first public hanging (in the county, of Amador, 1856); first astronomical observatory (1860); and first solar still (1978).
After class, I took a walk down the road (yes, looking for a geocache—I found it). Along the way I passed a few dozen handmade birdhouses lining the road. Here they are standing sentry, plus a few of them up close, randomly selected (and SOOC):