Paulownia sports enormous heart-shaped leaves.
(preparing to rip it down the middle)
(mark for the outside rip)
I discovered the heart wood is much like styrofoam. Growth rings would indicate this tree is only 3 or 4 years old - it was at least twenty feet tall and this wasn't the thickest part of the trunk.
Then I had a startling encounter:
A very large beetle flew up onto the porch.
And back to work . . .
(the oiled posts have a nice luster)