a distinctive oak tree

2.19.24 ~ St. Marys, Georgia

As I step out and down the road I think how each individual human child will grow and be quite their very own being. And then I think how each oak tree also has its own individuality, its own essence in quite the same way, too. Each oak has a distinctiveness which may be seen, felt and known — as with my own children, as with every human that lives upon this earth.
~ James Canton
(The Oak Papers)

In front of our vacation cottage was an amazing oak tree, adorned with plants growing in its fork and Spanish moss hanging from its branches.

resurrection fern
3 fan palms growing in the oak’s fork
(thanks to Donna & Eliza for the identification)

Every morning when we left and every evening when we returned to the cottage I paused and wondered at the energy coming from this tree. It seemed to have a self-sacrificing essence, nurturing so many other lives besides its own. And I thought of my own children and what wonderful adults they became with their very different personalities, interests and talents.

19 thoughts on “a distinctive oak tree”

  1. Just think about the stories that old tree could tell, Barbara. It has aged gracefully and is beautifully adorned by the other plants. We have yuccas here, but they look different to those. Perhaps someone else can confirm what it is for you. πŸ’•

    1. At first I thought there was a palm tree growing out of the fork, who knows? I’m sure this stunning old oak has many stories to tell, especially since so many different people have probably spent time with it while staying at the vacation cottage. πŸ’•

  2. Lovely post! When visiting southeast U.S., I was always amazed at the number of plants that huge, ancient trees would host, and how the tree was so nurturing and forgiving. πŸ™‚ I think your ‘palm’ in the tree is a fan palm? I was given a potted fan palm last September to put around our outdoor kitchen, it’s now in my living room at the window, waiting for Spring so it can go back outside. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Donna! Eliza also thinks those are fan palms so I’m going to go with that and edit my the post. It is so remarkable to see a tree taking care of so many other plants, as if it enjoyed having its own collection of houseplants. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for the fan palm id. The Spanish moss is so pretty. It reminds me of reindeer lichen but it isn’t a moss or a lichen, its a rootless flowering plant, which I’m sure you already knew. πŸ˜‰

  3. Interesting-looking tree Barbara. I like the Spanish Moss dripping off it as well. And everything is so green in contrast to our still-blah landscape … it makes me long for the colors that define Spring.

    1. I was surprised how different the trees and plants in Georgia were from here in North Carolina. As different as they are between North Carolina and Connecticut. It’s a very distinct zone even farther south. Hang in there, Linda!

  4. I’ve never thought about a tree nurturing other lives in the way you did with this one. I’ve have thought about trees nurturing other lives through their leaves and fruits And oxygen they give us to breathe.

    I wonder what brought your son and his wife to live in St. Marys, Ga and what keeps them there…

    1. Trees are amazing beings and I have a feeling we are only beginning to understand all the ways they are essential to life on this planet. In spite of being born and raised in Connecticut, our daughter-in-law loves the hot weather and since they’ve both worked remotely for many years, they simply moved to a warmer climate in 2011 and stayed. They’re very happy there.

      1. I share your daughter in law’s love of hot weather. As beautiful as Colorado is, I was happy to leave the snow behind in my yesteryears.

        My late Mom, planted 100 trees in their front yard when they lived in Katy TX during the β€˜80s. When she got the 100th tree she said that was enough. I have no idea why she planted so many trees. I never question my Mom for doing things she did because I could see for whatever reason, it brought her happiness.

        I’m glad your children found a place that brings them happiness!

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