Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Afternoon in the Park

 As we enter the Zachary Taylor Arboretum Park this cloudless afternoon, we tread beauties as these underfoot.

 This splendid tree has a smooth white bark, and the dark, though now empty seed pods combine with the sky to produce this striking example of nature's artwork.

 This is one of probably dozens of pictures I have taken of live oak trees.  Their surprising postures and gnarly and strangely twisted limbs fascinate me.

Much as I love persimmons, and I confess to having eaten perhaps bushels of them, I have never seen, much less eaten, a black persimmon which is the fruit of this tree.  Guess I need to arrive in the vicinity earlier in the fall! 

Were it not for my annual treks to Texas, I would be completely unfamiliar with this tree, as it apparently thrives only in the area from Central Texas southward into Mexico.

That is my size 11 at the base of the tree so that you might get some idea.  This live oak is reputedly one under which Zachary Taylor pitched camp when he came ashore at Rockport in 1845.  Thus the name of the park and the frequent historical references to this man who was later President of the United States.


Shelly said...

I have seen that very tree in your last pic and it is truly massive. Those gnarled live oaks (we have a large one in our yard, too) really tell the story of survival in a sometimes hostile climate. Great pics!

Secondary Roads said...

Looks like a face in the tree. It appears to be examining you size 11.

Vee said...

Beautiful arboretum tour on this cold winter day (here).

vanilla said...

Shelly, thanks. If I were to buy a place here, I think a live oak on the premises would be prerequisite.

Chuck, I see the face. Looks as though it might devour the shoe.

Vee, thank you. The wind has died down now, but so has the temperature. Call it sunny and cool.

Anonymous said...

Oh funny - I see the face too - now that you mention it..

Lin said...

I think the face is saying "P. U! That stinks! Somebody MOVE THAT SHOE!" Hahahaha!

vanilla said...

Grace, we thank Chuck for pointing it out; I hadn't noticed it until he mentioned it.

Lin, oh, funny. But maybe.

Sharkbytes said...

Thanks for the botany! I don't really know any of those plants.

vanilla said...

Shark, Texas is a bit different world from the Midwest, botanically speaking. And in other ways as well.