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Thursday, December 18, 2008

This oak has stood for hundreds of years. It served as my compass while growing up. As a child, I was sure it escaped from the pages of the fairy tales I read. It was my compass because it was by far the largest point on the landscape for miles. Like true north, I could always find the oak and make my way back home. After several rough winters, it died last year and was put to rest. How many generations before me built their tree houses, ran under its sheltering arms during a downpour, picked blackberries from the vines on it's trunk and tried in vain to climb it? I never conquered the Oak. The lower branches had died decades before leaving no path to the top. In literature, I have read of the "mighty oaks"...the author surely passed by my home place.

8 comments:

J Cosmo Newbery said...

A fabulous tree!

I hope you have a very merry Christmas, that Santa brings you everything you deserve and that it doesn’t take too long to work off the effects of Christmas dinner.

Thank you for being part of what has been a fascinating year for me.

Dan Felstead said...

J,
You have a wonderful Christmas a well down under! I have enjoyed your comments and keep up the conversation in the new year. We are having an Australia day today. I woke up this morning after two days of ice storms and it is about 60 degrees out. We are really having some weird weather.

Thanks again,

Dan

Simply Heather said...

I just love tree's, don't you? This one is mighty, almost as though it is protecting and letting you know "I am here".

I don't know it you saw the photo that I posted on my blog, it's definately not a crisp delight to the eye as yours are. And it was only taken with a picture phone (haha) but I had to share it with the question as to what made the little marks on the trunk. Even one of my VT'er friends had no idea, which really surprised me. I'll tell you the secret, Dan...in a moment {just in case you'd rather guess for yourself...you'll be able to come back in the next post down to see the answer}.

Simply Heather said...

Okay, did you check out that picture? The little black marks all the way around it are tap marks made from the many times people poked these wonderful maple tree's for the sap they produce. We have MANY of these old tree's on our property and yes, inevitably so, they must come down.

The tree's are beautiful and strong, like your mighty oak, Dan. Again...I just love tree's.

{smile for your day ;o)}
~Heather

Dan Felstead said...

Heather,
I saw the cut tree yesterday when you mentioned it on Laura's blog. I am so glad you explained. For someone who has never been to maple country, I had no idea what the marks were. I never thought about male taps. Have you drawn syrup yourself and if so, is the syrup usable right out of the tree or does it have to be processed?

I want to take this time to wish you and your family a Merry and Blessed Christmas and to thank you for all of your great posts on my blog and Laura's as well. I always enjoy your posts, you can tell that they definitely come from the heart.

Merry Christmas

Dan and Karen

Simply Heather said...

And a very joyous, peace-filled, comfortably put Christmas to you and your wife ;o). Thank you.

There is QUITE a process in making maple syrup and it does taste yucky if taken straight from the tree (bitter). I've never made it myself but I've seen it done many times. There's always a gallon of it at our house. So, so tasty. We would like to make some of our own but it is costly to have the proper equipment. I suppose if I really wanted to do it badly enough, I would stay in the kitchen boiling it down all day long. I'd much rather have the bigger equipment. It take a lot of sap to make just one gallon of syrup.

Many blessings to you through Christmas and into the New Year. I always look forward to the gift of opening my blog and finding a new photo that you've shared.

With appreciation, Heather

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Awww, the mighty oak. That is my favorite tree. It offers so much to people and creatures alike. This brought back some beautiful memories of growing up. I still love seeing those great trees.

Dan Felstead said...

The Oak is my favorite as well...however in Autumn, the Maple outshines everything else!

Dan