Archives for posts with tag: trees

I am a tree-hugger. Whenever I meet one that I love, I really do want to wrap my arms around the trunk and feel that immense strength, hoping to absorb some of it.

I’ve visited the giant Cedars in remote western Montana…last year it was giant Sequoias in the west…this year it’s Live Oaks in the south. When I read about the Angel Tree, I had to visit…

The Angel Tree is in a park owned by the city of Charleston, even though it’s on John’s Island, a bit out of town. The tree has a very sacred feel, but it is named after the Angel family who used to own the property. The tree is estimated to be 400-500 years old, which means it was here when only Native Americans lived in the area, before the Europeans arrived. In 2012, developers proposed a giant condo complex nearby that would have possibly altered the environment in the area, but other lovers of this tree prevailed…Thank You!

Looking for the Angel Tree takes you on the highway out of Charleston, on the way to Kiawah Island. There is only a small sign to mark the tree and you turn onto a very rough dirt road that might discourage you from going further if this weren’t your destination. You drive through what could be a spooky forest of oaks draped in Spanish Moss until you see a clearing on your left. There is a small sign on the right and before you reach the drive, you see the tree and you are in shock at the size. The park is fenced in with a small log building, a couple of portable toilets and a few picnic tables. The cabin has souvenirs and a couple of women selling sweetgrass baskets on the back screened in porch. But, you’re here to see the tree.

You can’t get it all in one photo. It’s 65 feet tall and spreads over 17,000 square feet. The limbs are so heavy they’ve drooped to the ground. Ferns grow along limbs. You need to see people beside it to comprehend its size. After that intro, the tree speaks for itself, different from any side. There are abundant signs reminding visitors not to climb the tree, which is tempting, and not to carve it. Horrors!!!

imageDSC_0568DSC_0574On one side, the limbs on the ground look like individual trees until you see what they are…DSC_0577


I gave the tree several pats and hugs and left with a wonderful feeling of having shared a treasure of the earth back in the South Carolina forest. See if you can find me in the picture. I’m the tiny human, realizing her place in the universe is all relative…DSC_0573


Living in Oklahoma is not for sissies. True to the song, that wind does come sweepin’ and sometimes it’s a little strong. The beautiful plains probably handle it better than the cities. In Tulsa, we are in the corner of the state called “Green Country” by the tourist bureau. For those who think this state is flat and dry, you haven’t seen all of Oklahoma. We have gorgeous trees and hills in our lovely city.

This week, we had a blast of 70-80 mph winds that swept over our area, swirling and blowing until a large portion of the city was without power and nature had pruned our urban forest. It would break my heart to see the huge trees upended in yards all over the place, but I’ve been through it before and know that when all is cleaned up, we’ll look much the same around here with a few gaps in the sky. We have an abundance of trees. After our major ice storm a few years ago, the city looked like a war zone, but nature picks up and goes again. I’ve also learned from the National Parks, where they let nature take its course.

Getting around town has been slow as you dodge limbs in the streets and wait to go through intersections one at at time while the street lights are out. Poles are broken and leaning and crews are arriving from other states to help! I saw some poles propped up with a smaller pole bound to it.



If there is anything good about storms like this, it’s the human spirit that shines through. Days without power make us more grateful for what we do have. After writing about Keeping Cool earlier this week, many had to live it in the humid heat following the storm. At least there are places to go with air conditioning and ice. Neighbors and families with power provide meals and cool places to sleep. We know not to open our refrigerators to keep them cold or put perishables in coolers with ice until the stores run out. Most people should have lanterns and flashlights around. Some have generators left over from ice storms.

One of the newest problems is charging all our devices. One of my daughters without power took all of her family’s electronics to her sister who had power to recharge…iPhones, iPads, iPods. We’re kind of an Apple family and need our gadgets to stay in touch.

On the other side, my brother doesn’t have power after three days and needs to be connected for health reasons. I check on him and make sure his phone works so he can get help if needed. I’m sure there are many like him. I have to wind through the back streets to get to him because he’s on a main street blocked by electric company workers trying to get everything going.

Power outages bring out our pioneer spirit, 21st century style. We’re not exactly without resources these days. Neighbors help neighbors move limbs until the hoards of trucks and men with chain saws flood the city. There’s money to be made following a storm.

I’ve been grateful to have power, although I lost my internet and cable for a couple of long periods. Hard to complain. In fact, it makes me laugh to think how deprived we can feel without things that are really luxuries. Reading books is back in style, by lanterns or on tablets, in a storm.

Here’s a sample of some of Tulsa’s damage this week. Multiply this times a bunch and you’ll see what we’re seeing…

Here are two trees uprooted onto the owner’s house…


A tree broken across a fence…


A multi-trunked tree uprooted onto the house and new car…


and debris piled on the curbs for pick up…



One of the major problems is our glorious oaks that die from the inside and look fine on the outside but are vulnerable to the winds…


So, we’re picking up and going again. We survive wind, tornadoes (big wind), ice, heat and cold and floods here in Oklahoma. We’re OK.