Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cedar Lane

As I wrote in an earlier blog, I love cedar trees.
I recently posted photographs of two cedars
at the Chesapeake Arboretum
and another of one growing near my house;
I also reminisced about the  juniperus virginiana 
that grew straight and tall at the end of our front lawn when I was a kid.

The trees I had seen recently in Chesapeake weren't too large,
nowhere near the 800-year age of the oldest cedar tree in the US.
But on our recent trip to Chippokes Plantation,
I was delighted to see many venerable old cedar trees.

Near the 19th-century mansion,
three cedars flanked a tree with a twisting, winding root:

On the other side of the road, three more cedars cast morning shadows:

The cedar tree on the right in this next photo
looks very wizened and terribly wise.
When travellers are very still and quiet,
they can hear the old tree whispering advice.

There are many more cedars lining the Quarter Road,
a road that runs through the working farm.
They were full of birds when we went by one morning.
I would have expected cedar wax wings, but there were none.
Maybe it was too soon in the season for cedar berries. 

But courted by cedar waxwings or not,
the best cedars are the ones
that stand watch over Cedar Lane.
They are ancient. This one may not look it, but it is huge.
My husband and I put our arms around it,
but we couldn't come close to touching hands.

I find this next photo peaceful.
 The trunks are rough and gnarled;
and each cedar's canopy casts soft shadows on the grass.
It's a pleasing contrast, and a nice counterpart to the nearby field.

Imagine a horse-drawn carriage on this historic lane.
It was once the formal entrance to the Plantation.
Those days are long gone,
but the cedar trees still watch over fields of corn and cotton.

Perhaps they are remembering.

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