Family tree redux


Bois d' arc tree

Despite what you may think, you are looking at the trunk of a healthy Bois d’ Arc tree. The tree is more than 140 years old and looking forward to more.

A bodacious Bois d’ Arc

We’re going to archives this week, returning to a fine fall day in 2009 near Greenwood, Arkansas. On that day, the paths of me and Gerald Ware crossed. The results of this fortuitous encounter were mutually beneficial.

Had either of us deviated from what we were doing that morning by more than a few minutes, we would probably have never met. Which would be a pity for me since I would have never seen his remarkable Bois d’ Arc tree. Gerald sees it every day.

See the original story and more pictures of the remarkable tree in our original October 4, 2009 post, a guaranteed good read. See the start of the story on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com,

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Shaggy cattle, firetrucks and a dog


Scottish Highland Cattle

Bambi, a Scottish Highland cow leads Clint, a bull, and Blondie, a cow toward the camera. Clint and Blondie are also of the Scottish Highland ilk. They are residents of Jimmy MIchael's Farm on County Road 77 in Grant County, Arkansas. Despite threatening looks, these are friendly critters.

Scottish Highland Cattle

See more pictures, get more info.

You do not see a lot of commercially raised cattle with horns these days. Except for Scottish Highland cattle. According to Jimmy Michael who raises Scottish Highland cattle on his 127 acre farm on County Road 77 in Grant County, Arkansas, it’s traditional. Breeders don’t mess with their horns.

The hardy breed is noted for its even temperament . In any case, they are shaggy, friendly, and legendary for their endurance. Their following is small but enthusiastic. The story of Jimmy and his cattle started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. Click here to go there and get in on more pictures and Jimmy’s story. We’ll wait here while you look.

Upon departing Jimmy Michael’s farm, I headed north on Stage Coach Road which runs through the Grant County boondocks. It is mostly gravel. I saw some smoke ahead and in a few minutes came upon a group of water tanker trucks on the side of the road. Ahead of those a few hundred yards was a real, live fire truck with its red lights blazing. I stopped, but the firefighters waved me through. I stopped again to chat, naturally, and discovered that there had been a serious brush fire, but the intrepid Cane Creek Volunteer Fire Department fire fighters had about whipped it to a standstill.

Fire truck and fire fighers

Members of the Cane Creek Volunteer Fire Department are departing the scene after bringing a serious brush fire under control.

As I continued the conversation, I discovered that I was not talking to a fire fighter but an official of the Arkansas Forestry Commission, James Wagner,  in attendance at the scene. Once the fire conversation died down, since I figured rare trees rang his bell,  I told him about Gerald Ware’s venerable Bois d’ Arc tree on his place near Greenwood, Arkansas. Check the tree out here and here. It is amazing.

James Wagner, Cocoa and James Henry

James Wagner, Cocoa, and James Henry waxing eloquent about dogs, fires, and the weather while the remnants of the fire smolder in the background.

In the middle of the bois d’ arc conversation, a guy drives up in on a four-wheeler with a dog in his lap. He and the dog look like this is not the first four-wheeler ride for either. The rider is James Henry who lives nearby. Fortunately his property escaped the recent blaze. His dog, Cocoa, was abandoned and James was the dog’s rescuer. According to James, the dog has more than reciprocated his kindness. “There’s not a better dog on the face of the earth,” he says.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

donkeys

See more pictures including these critters and more

Take a look at our Weekly Gallery and see more of what we shot on this trip. More cows. More dog and four-wheeler, some donkeys, and another shot of ol’ Jimmy Michael. These pictures are not available anywhere else. Click here.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Family tree


This a live tree, not an attack by alien mutants. The tree is a 139 year old Bois d' arc, one of Mother Natures toughest children.

The ceramic chicken is in no danger. Despite what you may think, this a live tree, not an attack by alien mutants. The tree is a 139 year old Bois d’ arc, one of Mother Nature’s toughest children.

Gerald Ware

Click on the tree’s keeper for more info

This Bois d’ arc tree, with a mind of its own and a genetic urge to survive, decided to grow horizontally instead of vertically.

You can see more pictures of the tree and a picture of its caretaker, Gerald Ware, where this story started on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot com. Click here to see the pictures and original story. It is a tale of happenstance where fate played a good hand in both our lives on a fine day in the fall of 2009.

The horizontal tree.

The giant horizontal bois d’ arc tree, a prominent fixture and point of pride in the yard of Gerald and Candi Ware of Greenwood, Arkansas was probably planted by original homesteaders who settled their place around 1870 or so. Bois d’ arc trees produce a tough and hard wood. Indians prized the wood for making the best bows.

The tree has a good place go grow. Its roots are close by the natural spring which provides water for the Ware household. Given those favorable growing conditions, the tree probably outgrew its ability to support itself and given the genetic trait of these trees to survive decided that horizontal growth would be just fine, thank you very much. At least, this is Gerald Ware’s theory. And since he is a retired biology teacher, his thoughts are probably right on target.

December 30, 2009 Update

bois d' arc in snow

Since I missed the snow on the “Ware Bois d’ arc” at Greenwood AR, I am grateful to Gerald Ware’s granddaughter for getting this shot and am equally grateful to Gerald for sending it to me. The tree is toughing out it’s 140th winter or so. A testimonial to staying power.

This barn, a 1947 model, is now 62 years old.

Cochran barn, a 1947 model, is now 62 years old.

A bit further down the road, still close enough to be in the neighborhood, Gary Cochran was chomping on a fine cigar and mowing the large yard of his ancestral home, if a 1947 birth date and construction of the home can be considered ancestral. I asked if I could photograph his old barn on the premises. He quickly and cheerfully granted this boon. Gary said the home had not been occupied in ten years. It did not have that appearance. Gary takes care of the place. “It would make my mother happy,” he said, and happily continued his labors. Gary is one of the good guys.

Cabin with a carport?

Log cabin with a carport?  Hmmmm?

Not far from Booneville, Arkansas, I came across this log cabin, which appears to be the real thing. I’m betting the metal roof was added later in its life. You can see an entrance door in the middle, and a small door to the right. One reader suggested in an earlier post that a similar small door on an older structure might have been to an interior wood shed. The cabin almost looks like it has a carport. Maybe an add on as well. It’s too low and small for horse-drawn carriages. Your guess is as good as mine. If you like log cabins, you’ll love log barns, check these out.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

PS: If you have friends whom you believe will enjoy these weekly adventures, contact me at one of the links above and I will be happy to add them to the links list. Conversely, if you want to be removed from our list, let me know and we will drop you like a hot potato.

TNX,

JPD