On my walks and runs I often pass this old cottonwood tree that was long ago struck by lightening, which split it in half and caused one half of it to die and rot, while the other half survived and continued to grow. The dead half was home to owls and squirrels. The living half hosted a nest of red tailed hawks. I always thought of this tree as very special.
I am a lover of trees – having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, where I fearlessly played in the forest behind my house as a child. As an artist I paint trees and as a photographer I take lots of tree photos. These photos are not spectacular, but they mean something to me…
Then on July 4th another dramatic lightening storm rolled through my neighborhood and I witnessed one very loud crack of lightening that seemed to be right overhead. I saw smoke rise and realized that the lightening must have hit a tree. On July 5th I was out for a run and found the old cottonwood fallen over the path…
Goodbye majestic old tree. Thank you for the shade you provided. Thank you for being home to and food for so many critters. I pass the place where you once lived, and although only a stump now exists where you once proudly stood, I will always remember you fondly.
Want to know more about Cottonwoods? You can learn a lot from my new friend and fellow tree-lover, Kathleen Cain in her eBook, The Cottonwood Tree: An American Champion
One more photo, also taken along one of my favorite walking/running paths, of two majestic cottonwoods. A coyote and her 3 pups dwell in the field of tall grasses beneath them, where the duck and prairie dog hunting is plentiful. Red foxes and mule deer can also be seen in this open space.