Friday, April 24, 2009
Even though we still don't have many leaves on our big trees yet, and even though it was 35 degrees on Wednesday morning this week, SPRING is HERE on the Cumberland Plateau. I showed pictures of some of our early bloomers (Crocus, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Forsythia, Pansies, and some of our Tulips) in previous blog posts. Today I'll show you pictures of our Redbud trees (we have two), more of our Tulips, and our Pink Dogwood. Hope you enjoy these pictures. Click on them to make them larger. Above is some of the branches of our gorgeous Pink Dogwood in our front yard. Below are more.
One of our two Redbud trees; The other one was featured in an earlier blog post.
The Redbud blossoms---up close and personal!!!! Nice, huh?
This is Peppermint Stick Tulip. This is a small tulip---and I almost wanted to lick it --like I would a lollipop. Yum!!!!
Peppermint Stick Tulip is opening up!!!!! Pretty, don't you think?
You would never guess---but this is Peppermind Stick Tulip opened totally up.. Isn't this a beautiful and unique tulip????? (Compare this picture with the two above!)
I love White Dogwoods----but there's something special about the Pink Dogwoods. I love ours!!!!!
Another picture of a close-up of our Pink Dogwood blooms
Here is a final picture of our Pink Dogwood. There is a legend, that at the time of the Crucifixion, the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross on which Jesus was nailed.
After that time, the Dogwood never grew large enough to be used as a cross. It became slender and bent and twisted, and its blossoms were in the form of a cross. There were two long and two short petals, and in the center of the outer edge of each petal were nail prints. In the center of the flower was a crown of thorns. All who see this blossom will remember what Jesus Christ endured --just for US. Take another look at the above picture. God Bless ALL of You.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
George and I love to travel on the 'back roads' in our country. In March of 2007, in order to celebrate George's birthday, we drove to Indiana to visit all of the waterfalls in Clifty Falls State Park. On the way home, while on the back roads, we drove through a neat town called Harrodsburg, Kentucky. This town is Kentucky's first settlement. When we passed by Fort Harrod, we turned around and decided to check out the fort. While there, we saw a huge tree, called an Osage Orange Tree. This tree's crown is 98' X 106'; its height is 75'; its circumference of the tree standing is 12'4"; and its base circumference is 56'. Woooooo!! This tree is taller and broader than the "National Champion" (which can be found on Patrick Henry's 'Red Hill' grounds)---but remains the unofficial National Champion due to the split trunk.
Of course, when we got home, I had to do some research on this interesting tree. Here is some info on the Osage Orange tree:
Named for the Osage tribe, of Missouri, where its dense wood was used for their bows, the tree was actually native to Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The Osage orange became popular in the east after the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803-1806. Also called "hedge plant" or "hedge apple," the thorny Osage orange grew into fence rows that were "pig tight, horse high, and bull strong" before the invention of barbed wire.
Probably the most noticeable feature of Osage orange is the fruit produced by female trees. (The one we saw was a male.) The yellow-green fruit is round and 3 to 5 inches in diameter. It resembles a large orange or a monstrous mulberry. The fruit is a dense, round cluster of many one-seeded pulp sacks.
Osage orange isn't an orange tree. It's actually a mulberry. Today, Osage orange grows everywhere south of the Great Lakes and north of Florida, across the whole of eastern North America into the Great Plains states, almost to the Rocky Mountains. Other naturalized populations are found along Western settlement trails, forts and settler locations in the Pacific Northwest. Osage orange has been bundled and dragged across the nation -- east to west and north to south -- because of its uniqueness and utility. It has traveled widely and has been a part of our history. Above and below are pictures.
A partial picture of this HUGE tree; We were there in March--so obviously, there were no leaves on the tree.
I took this picture from the internet---to show how much better the tree looks when there are leaves on it!!!! (I have no idea who that child is---but I'm sure he'll be thrilled to be on my blog!!!! ha)
These next two pictures also came from the internet. This is a 'female' Osage Orange tree. See the fruit hanging up there? Don't be standing under these trees when those 'things' fall!!!! You would need to wear a hard hat I'm sure!!! ha
This is what the fruit (if you call it that) looks like. All I can say is YUK!!!!!
I was so fascinated with this unique tree... Isn't it interesting?
George stands under the tree---and as you can see, he is ready for battle.
Do you see a 'tree-hugger' there???? This girl loves this tree!!!!! Can she take it home???? PUH-LEASE!
I leave you with a photo of the outside of Old Fort Harrod. I'll show you the inside of this interesting fort in another blog. Hope you enjoyed seeing the Osage Orange tree today! Oh how wonderful it is to drive on the 'back roads'!!!! One will never know what he/she will see!!!!