A week ago, as I was walking from my abode to the Woodlawn station of the 4 Train (on my way to Brooklyn), I took a... uh... nature walk... yeah, that's it, in Van Cortlandt Park. I walked into the park far enough from the traffic of Jerome Avenue to... uh... try to see some wildlife, when I saw a bizarre object (poorly photographed below by yours truly on my phone camera):
It's impossible to tell from my overly bright photograph, but the object is a stick, wound with ribbons, festooned with large "jingle bells", and surrounded by empty mason jars. While certainly not an intimidating display, it was a bizarre one, one "premeditated" enough to suggest some obscure ritual function (scorn pole? a VPR?).
The bizarre objet immediately reminded me of Karl Edward Wagner's horror tale Sticks, which would seem to be the inspiration (although I don't know if it was acknowledged) for the wooden figures that feature prominently in the Blair Witch Project. The story itself was inspired by a tale told by pulp artist Lee Brown Coye, who often incorporated sticks or lattice-work in his illustrations for "weird" tales.
I apologize for the lame photo, and will return to the scene to take a better one- hopefully, the object/installation won't be washed away by a sudden flood...