Good morning/evening Everyone!
When we are in grade school, somewhere along the line we learn that if you are going to draw a tree, it is going to have a brown trunk and a green top. My basic trees in kindergarten up looked something like this:
When I wanted to get fancy, I would add branches to the top of the tree, and a hole such as a bird might like to nest in.
The truth about trees, as is often the case, is much more wonderful in real life.
Take bark, for instance. The next time you have a minute and you are going by a stand of trees, take a minute to stop and look just at the bark on the trees. Notice how each type of tree bark has its own color and shape and patterns. Notice how almost none of them are the true brown that we used in grade school – the marvelous variations of gray and brown and shades in between is unlimited!
While I am by no means a botanist or an arborist, I do recognize a few kinds of trees, so I though I would share photographs of their bark with you, just to get you started.
This beautiful oak tree was right outside our camper this weekend at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama. Here is a photograph of the tree with me looking up that is just too pretty not to share.
In the spring, the beautiful dogwoods grace Southern woods and yards with unique, four-petaled white flowers. Here is a picture of one dogwood tree’s bark last weekend.
Pine trees also abound in the South.
Very few flowers on trees survive the hot, humid Southern summer, but the crepe myrtle is one of the few that do. (I’m not entirely sure if the crepe myrtle is a tree or shrub, but it definitely has wood in its trunk!) It’s bark is very smooth, and a sort of tan color.
One of the other trees that bear summer flowers is the stately magnolia tree, the grande dame of Southern flora. (You just can’t quite say “magnolia tree” without putting “stately” in front of it. I tried, without success.)
From five trees, we have five different kinds of bark. This level of texture is something we don’t often take the time to really view and admire, but sometime this week or weekend, take just a few minutes to do so. The sense of wonder and admiration at the variety and abundance of nature’s giants will be well worth your time.
Have a great day!