It's not often that one gets to touch a living thing that is over a thousand years old. A thousand years of life - almost incomprehensible. If this tree could share its history with us, what would it say?

This bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) stands deep in the swamp. It is very much alive and still producing cones. I often wonder how many of the cypress nearby are the offspring of this particular tree. Wonder if any of them will reach such a venerable age...

Four or five others of these massive virgin cypress still dot the swamp -- they were already too large to be cut by the time the first Europeans arrived. Several of them show signs of past lightning strikes and most have extensive hollows, but they continue to live and reproduce.

There was one other, but it was lost in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel blew through -- wonder how many hurricanes it had weathered in its long life?


Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Wow! I thought our old tree was old:

Sassafras Tree
(Marker Number: 1192)

County: Daviess
Location: 2100 Frederica St., Owensboro

Description: This giant tree, first mentioned for its size in 1883, has been an historic landmark in Daviess County for several centuries. Believed to be 250 or 300 years old, it measures over 100 feet tall, with a circumference of 16 feet. It is probably the largest of its kind in the world, and is registered with American Forestry Association as largest in U.S.

Watchmania said...

Wonderful. This post reminds me of one of my very favourite books - Meetings With Remarkable Trees by Thomas Pakenham. That one focuses on British trees but Pakenham also then did an international one using the same idea called Remarkable Trees of the World. I think you'd love them both.

swamp4me said...

Bloggy, that is one massive sassafras! It deserves its marker.

SGJ, thanks for telling me about the Pakenham book. I will try to find a copy of it.

username said...


*is speechless*

chryscat said...

Right now it's thinking..."Wow. Check this out. Little Swampy Chickie is giving me hugs. This rocks!" *laughing*
That is one big tree. Very cool, woman.

Rurality said...

You tree hugger, you! :)

Amazing. I often wonder what things looked like here 500 years ago... like that maybe!

I remember being astonished the first time I read that bears used to hibernate in hollow tulip poplars... 1) No bears here anymore, 2) No tulip poplars that big anymore!

Would love to see a post some time on what larger mammals are in your swamp. Do you have bears in that area? Mountain lions?

Oh I tried those other types of Su Doku. I too suck at the color patches... too hard to tell them apart! I like the hex. I think I like the numbers better than the letters, although I was able to do the letters faster.

swamp4me said...

Rurality, why yes, I guess I am a tree hugger :)

We do have bear in our area and still have some trees large enough for them to den-up in. We don't have any big cats, though, just bobcats.

I will try to do a post on our larger mammals sometime soon.