Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Fort and the Quercus Virginiana

One of the things that makes Fort Monroe
a standout over other military bases, past and present,
is the number and beauty of its trees.
My favorites there are the live oaks, quercus virginiana
that thrive along Ruckman Road in the center of the old Fortress.

Here's one that branched into two trunks very early in its life:

This tree is reminiscent of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth:
I noticed these near the west intersection of Ruckman Road and Bernard Road.
The trunks are covered in Irish-green colored moss:

I love the way this tree arches and bends:

And here, a massive trunk quietly conveys its august presence:

Live oak branches go on and on, climbing and reaching in different directions.
 It would be easy to get lost in their branches.

I found a web site by Southern Pride Tree Farm, Inc. of Bell, Florida
that has several photos of the biggest and oldest live oaks in the United States.
Words are insufficient to convey those trees' real magnificence. 
One photo on the site is of Louisiana's "The Seven Sisters Oak,"
thought to be over 1,000 years old.
It is difficult to choose which ones are most spectacular:

The Tree Farm's site is loaded with interesting facts about live oaks.
The site includes a link to monumental which is dedicated to
sharing thousands of photos of "big and old" trees around the world. 
I'm guessing the number of photos accounts for the extremely slow load time.
But if one has the patience, it is worth the wait.

Tomorrow, some final thoughts on Fort Monroe.

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