#MySanDiego: The Wooden Hawk

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SAN DIEGO -- Torrey Pines is well known for its golf course, but recently, a wooden hawk has been getting some attention.

The giant red-tailed hawk sits serenely, its wooden eyes looking out over the water. The carving, known as the “Sunset Seat”, is the creation of David Arnold, who was heart-broken when he saw the city chopping down a diseased 100-year-old pine tree and sought to give it new life.

Arnold, who designed the logo for the city of Del Mar, was driving down the road when he saw a group of workers chopping down the diseased pine. He asked the foreman if he could have one hour to save the remaining stump. He called everyone he could think of, including the former mayor of Del Mar.

Arnold made a tiny model in December, then jumped through several hoops with the city Parks & Recreation Department and the San Diego City Council before he finally got approval

The tree’s demise was evidence of a devastating problem, bark beetles. Pines can typically fight the beetles off, but during drought conditions, the insects take over. They burrow holes, strip the trees of bark and kill them. In fact, so many trees have been lost to the beetles in this area that the city has set up pheromone beetle traps.

The hawk has many fans now, but David says he never tells them he's the designer. He doesn't want the credit. He just wants the tree to be around for a while.

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