Angel Oak Tree

blogging, city, Daily Prompt, family, history, Hughs Weekly Photo Challenge, Nature, Outdoors, slavery, travel, Trees

When looking at the Angel Oak Tree, it’s like a walk through a mystical time period.  Spots of hazy, heavenly, light shows its beams through the leaves onto the branches.  I expected nymphs and winged fairies to flitter under the huge canopy of the massive oak tree.  This centuries-old tree continues to grow near a dirt road that leads to the Angel Oak tree; which is surrounded amongst many Low Country trees. 

Angel Oak Tree

The Angel Oak tree is located on St. Johns Island, about twelve miles south from downtown Charleston, NC.  When I saw the Angel Oak Tree in 2019, it is free admission.  There just aren’t many free places to stop, and this is one that is definitely worthwhile.

This peculiar tree is said to be one of the oldest living oak trees east of the Mississippi River.  Arborists estimates the Angel Oak tree is 400 to 500 years old. Several reasons for the Angel Oak’s longevity is its natural hardiness, long taproot, and widespread root systems, that anchors the tree deep into the ground.  This is how it has survived natures elements of winds, storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes through-out the centuries.  It does show scars from natures elements; but the old oak tree still stands strong and brave.

Angel Oak Tree

The uniqueness of the tree is that it grows both up and out.  Its massive, twisted, and gnarled branches reach out like tentacles from a giant monster.  It’s said, by tour guides, the tree stands 66.5 ft (20 ml), the trunk measures 28 ft (8.5m) in circumference and produces shade that covers 17,200 feet (1,600 m2). 

Local folklore tells of another source for the name of the tree; ghosts of former slaves are said to appear as angels around the tree. 

 In her Ghosts and Legends of Charleston, Denise Roffe interviewed a woman descended from the slaves who toiled on the island’s plantations. She recounted the legends of the tree, including that it was once home to huge birds (likely vultures) who fed on the bodies of lynched slaves. The old woman continued saying that many people were buried under the tree including Native Americans who met under its shady branches. She stated that these spirits still gather around the oak and that they also work to protect the tree.

Recorded history traces the ownership of the live oak and surrounding land to year 1717.  When Abraham Waight received it as part of a small land grant, the tree stayed in Waight’s family for four generations, and was part of a marriage settlement to Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel. The Angel Oak tree is now owned by the City of Charleston and has become the focal point of a public park.

Many weddings and engagements take place under the canopy of this beautiful historical tree.  

My dog is a friend and companion

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Companion

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During my seven decades plus, I had to see two of my pets pass on.  I said “I can’t do this again”. But I lied to myself. At my elderly age I still wanted a dog.  A dog that would out live me. I figured out my average life span and looked for a dog whose dog life would be a little longer than mine. I took in all factors other than accidental death. Thirteen years ago I got a toy poodle pup. I was still frisky and active, as was he. We have grown old together. I relate to his aching muscles, sore joints and frequent naps. We no longer take those youthful long playful walks.  Our stride is short and somewhat staggering. Now we slowly creep through life. I lost a few teeth as he also, I have sagging skin, his no longer has that youthful tone. My hair is grey as his once jet black is now a dull grey. Each day he weakens.  I feel I may see my friend and companion go before me. If so, its been an elderly pleasure to age together.

 

 

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

18th century, American revolution, art, colonial, history, Lighthouse, outdoor painting, Outdoors, painting, Paintings, revolution, Virginia

I painted this picture from the water side near the causeways that protect the land from the slamming waves of the Chesapeake Bay.  The light of Point Comfort peeks through the luscious colorful tops of the trees.  At the foreground is an open field surrounded with a variety of old oak, maple and poplar trees.  For many decades, these trees survived the harsh element of mother nature.

Old Point Comfort Light House is located on the grounds of Fort Monroe in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay at Hampton, Virginia.  It was first lit in 1802, stands 54 feet tall, and played an important part in the War of 1812.  The light house is listed as a Virginia landmark.

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