SUBMITTED August 2014
BY Old Shadows
Surfing possibilities for Homes of Brown, the name Capability Brown popped up. But ‘England/1700’s’ made it dismissible … except for that curious name… a positive-thinking mother? So I read more. Turns out that mom issued a Lancelot. Then Lancelot-the-gardener became ‘Capability’ the Landscape Architect. And what else I found is applicable to The Chase.
Capability revolutionized the GREAT HOMES of Europe , the Downton Abbeys, replacing their fussy, labor intense formal gardens of geometric hedges, quirky fountains, gazebos, etc. (think Versailles) with sweeping vistas of open space, natural shaped ponds, and aesthetically placed copses of trees. Bet you thought it was always that way considering all the oil paintings of Country Estates we’ve all seen.
Now, Capability employed a particularly useful earth structure that allowed for unobstructed views from the tea terraces, yet kept the deer & cattle out of the gardens, and cow pies off the croquet courts. He employed a special kind of a WALL that likewise had earned a unique name, the ‘HA HA WALL’. Yes, look it up. I thought Ha Ha walls might serve American cattle barons as well as European gentry, and, Mr. Fenn did laugh after he placed that treasure box.
Researching was not easy. I expected to find Ha Ha’s protecting grand old ranch homes, or perhaps institutions, or small settlements from roaming cattle. Ha Ha’s had been used in Europe to keep the insane from wandering off the asylums. But I couldn’t find any in America, until I came across a proposal by a modern-day Colorado landscape architect for a large public park with a deer park, a Ha Ha wall, and an educational boardwalk that served as a pedestrian overlook to the “Western Front”. It’s quite a wonderful plan.
Visitors would stroll down the boardwalk, look across the Ha Ha, safe from antlers, and view without obstruction the eastern face of the Rockies some 10+ miles away. AND, while strolling down the boardwalk, also travel down a geologic time-canyon. The boardwalk would have a series of grooves, one every 8”, marking the years of evolutionary time in the Rockies. Fossils and words would be molded into the walk at their appropriate era. So, one could take a “canyon down, not far, but too far to walk”. I liked it. I’d bring the kids.
I imagined some particular fossil or year, or seasonal light ray might be the blaze, where, if you’re wise, you’d step off the boardwalk, go over to the Ha Ha and look down for the treasure.
I don’t know if the park, the boardwalk, the Ha Ha, the deer park, ever materialized. I can’t get there and my Google Earth is not clear about it. It would be easy to assign other proposed park features to other Chase clues. But I won’t because there is a fatal flaw. The Cache de Poudre River (suggestively meaning ‘hide the gunpowder’) and the Fort Collins Welcome Center at I-25 and Prospect Rd, just don’t measure up. The Where has about a 150’ alt-halt problem.
view my source
See pages 28-37
So, I’m on to solve #3, with confidence. Again.