The Lobstah Tree: Lobsterman finds off-season notoriety with Christmas tree
WHITMAN — A Christmas tree is not an uncommon sight this time of year, but one constructed out of lobster traps just might make you stop for a second look.
Lobsterman Tim Walsh of Whitman points out he is not an artist, but he has created a bit of roadside folk art.
“I just wanted to bring the ocean a bit further inland,” he said.
Where grass and farm land are familiar, he is set to light up his lobster tree in the backyard of his Perry Avenue home simply to evoke joy in all who travel down the busy Route 58/Plymouth Street as they go through Whitman and Hanson.
After the positive responses he received last year and the countless folks who stopped along the roadside to snap photos of his lobster tree, Walsh set out to go bigger with 300 stacked traps painted in greens and reds.
It took him about a full day and a half to stack the traps. The tree will be lit with hundreds of colorful holiday strands and the dedication to his late friend will top the unique structure.
The tallest buoy belonged to fisherman John Fleck of Hull who lost his battle with cancer.
“He was my friend, mentor and fellow fisherman,” Walsh said.
Several of the dangling buoys also belong to friends making the tree a unique vessel of heartfelt joy.
His family is also an inspiration.
Walsh’s wife Lori, who hails from Weymouth, is expecting their first child in the spring. She is a holiday lover, Walsh said.
She is also the inspiration in the naming of his lobster boat the Miss Lori, which is moored in Allerton Harbor in Hull where Walsh grew up.
A graduate of the Class of 2004 in Hull, he spent his days either in the water or on it. His father passed on the trade of fisherman and love of the ocean, he said.
“I love it,” he said. “I couldn’t do it if I didn’t.”
Walsh logs an average of 10 hours a day on his boat — it’s both his career and passion for living as a lobsterman.
He takes time off during the winter and heads back out in the spring. He is looking forward to the holidays and some much needed rest with his family.