The land was overgrown with cedar when the owners acquired it. Rather than take a subsidy from the government to eradicate all cedars, they chose tree by tree to tame the growth,and to trim lower branches which allows sun to come in to the ground below which allows the natural growth to develop. The customary problem is that if the cedar/jumipertrees are left to take over, their canopy is so wide it eliminates all sun to the ground below, the vegetation dies and erosion is also an issue. This way the tree is alive and beautiful (as seen in Benini's native Italy) and the tree is a contributor to the land.
There is a brass U. S. Geological Survey marker at the top of the mountain that is embossed:

Benchmark 1959
Elevation and above sea level 1793' on Rattlesnake Mountain
For information write the Director, Washington D.C.
U. S. Geological Survey.

Looking toward the house
(house is visible top left between the trees)

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