Tuesday, July 15, 2008

spt



the third element of summer: shade

there's not a lot of shade here on the coast. near the beach, the sea winds do a great job of shearing the tops of the smallish scrubby trees that grow nearby. inland, the landscape is dotted with gazillions of Long Leaf Pines (the official state tree, i believe.) have you ever seen a long leaf pine? they are incredibly tall, with slim trunks, and few branches. the "long leaves" are actually "long pine needles." not so great for shade. (we have several in our backyard - i call them the charlie brown trees, because they really do look like the sad little Christmas tree that charlie brown picked out.)

but in the village of Southport, which is somewhat protected from the harshest ocean elements, the real shady showpieces are the Live Oaks. we're talking trees that have been standing for two, three, four hundred years. gorgeous specimens that reach their branches in fantastic arches over the streets. gnarly limbs that provide support for swings and climbing feet.

this particular tree is known as the Indian Trail Tree, as it is thought to have marked a trail hewn by the Cape Fear Indains (who lived in this area up until about 1720.) the story is that when they left the shore to go hunting inland, they bent a sapling over to mark the spot where they would return. over the years, the tree trunk grew again from the spot where it had been bent over, and created a very unique landmark.


can you see the small space that still remains where the trunk was bent? believe it or not, 60 to 100 years ago, children could still crawl through that space when they were playing in the park!

we have a wonderful concert series called *summer sundays*, and every weekend there is live music played under the Indian Trail Tree. families come and relax for a few hours, enjoying ice cream and sweet tea and wonderful company. no matter how great the musicians, though, it is the tree that steals the show!



29 comments:

Jennifer H said...

What a neat tree! You'd think we would have read about that in history books or something. What an awesome thing for the kids to be able to play on. I'm glad nobody had roped it off and posted "no touching" signs around it.
ps...you look fantastic in your pic.

Rebekah said...

oh lelly, i know that 'staring straight into the sun' look so well.

that tree is so cool. i love natural features that bend the rules of what's commonplace. pun absolutely intended.

Courtney said...

How cool is that tree?...amazing! What a neat story to go with some unique shade! Love your sunny self :)

Windy said...

I don't even think we have trees that are that old here in New Mexico.

Lene said...

What an awesome tree and story to go along with it.
You look quite fetching in your pic!

Sarah said...

Wow!! What a cool tree and even cooler story. Trees from the 1700's? I think most of our tree have probably been planted in the last 20 years.

Chris said...

That is cool. Very different and I think that is amazing to be playing on something that has been there that long. Nice history. :-)
BTW I think alligators frighten me more than snakes.

Jenny said...

Wow they could squeeze through. Impressive. For some reason I thought the Carolina's had big full trees. Apparently I learned something new! That photo of you is gorgeous. I love the sun rays shining on you!

Dacia said...

What a sweet tree! It's hard to believe there are trees that old. So unique!

Bren's Life said...

I thought it was a rock & that the tree you where talking about was the shadow of the tree. I had to keep reading to realize that huge thing was a stump. Yes - I finally got it!
Amazing!!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a cool landmark, Lelly. I love how rich the history is on the East Coast. I also love the angle of your SPT.

Amy said...

cool little tidbit of info on your cool tree where you live :)
I love trees (although I can't always tell you what kind they are!) Love me some shade!!!

Shelly said...

What a cool piece of history you have there girl!

I was just recently walking around a beautiful college campus where the tree trunk were braided together when they were saplings. It made the most interesting trees.

thanks for sharing your shade~

Jill said...

Upon first glance I thought that was a huge rock, not a tree! Wow.

That's a cool picture of you in the sun.

Jeanette said...

What an interesting landmark! love it.

Michelle A. said...

What a great tidbit from where you live! That is so great and interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Taryn Bear said...

I know I'm kind of young, so I hope it's ok for me to SPT. My mom was too busy to do hers today!

Amber Grannis said...

That's one awesome tree trunk!

Katie A. said...

What an amazing tree, not to mention its history. Sounds like a good time! I love your self portrait with the sky and tree tops in the background.

Alisa said...

ok I am finally caught up- I had the photos done, just not committing to the computer the last couple of weeks!

I love the story's you tell!
That tree is so interesting- makes you wonder how many people have walked up and touched it and run their hands across it.

Alisha said...

I love oak trees! And I love old trees. Thanks for the great SPT!

CrabbyFamily said...

Every tree I think has a story and what a cool story your "shade" has.

Lucy said...

I totally thought the name of that trunk would be "Elephant and Rhinoceros" because I see both of them in that shape. But, you didn't mention it, nor did anyone else, so maybe I'm just loco. It's a very, very cool tree trunk.

Laurie said...

Love your SP!

I'm really starting to feel like quite the "armchair traveler" these days through viewing blogs. So many places to see in this country!

Aranne and Dan said...

This one was hard... Not much shade in the desert!!!!

Natasha said...

I love our old oak trees here too!

Janiece said...

As a new blogger, I can hardly wait to join in on SPT!!
Thanks for such a fun way to share!

The monkey bunch said...

wow, great story and fantastic tree. I finally posted one myself.

Kim Sue said...

dragging up the rear!