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

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.




Family at the falls

This is a continuation from the photo of the week picture-story. If you arrived here without first going to the photo of the week and want to catch up, (a cool thing to do), click here.

As I was engrossed in shooting a series of bracketed photographs of the falls at Lake Catherine State Park, I heard somewhat of a clamor down the trail leading to the falls. Mostly laughter and the sounds of people having fun. Turns out it was a couple of families and some friends. As they came closer and I overheard their conversations, it became plain that their conversations were not being conducted in south Arkansas English, which pretty well left me out of the loop.

The family, enjoying the environment, approached the falls and sure enough, out comes the ubiquitous digital camera. I offered to shoot them in front of the falls. One of the family members switched to English and handed me the camera. The group went as close to the falls as they could get and remain dry. I shot a few exposures and a straggler or two came up and we started the process again.

Two families and friends enjoy the falls at Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs AR.

Two families and friends enjoy the falls at Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs AR.

I asked them to stay put after I shot with their camera so I could shoot with mine. There is some blurring in the shot, one wiggling baby and one arm twitch.  I had the camera set up to shoot the waterfall at 1/5 second, not the best speed for human beings.

I asked them if they lived in Arkansas. They told me they were from Dallas. I thanked them for coming to Arkansas and encouraged them to do it often and spend as much money as was possible while in the state. They laughed and so did I. I gave them the address and told them to check the photo of the week and this blog. That was my contribution to international goodwill for the week.

The families explore the top of the falls. One adult introducing the baby to the chilly waters of a mountain stream. He seemed to enjoy the experience

The families explore the top of the falls. One adult is introducing the baby to the chilly waters of a mountain stream. He seemed to enjoy the experience.

It occured to me just how small our world has become. Though currently from Texas, it was patently obvious that the Lone Star state was not where they were born and reared. Yet here were some folks from thousands of miles away and this ol’ boy from south Arkansas − and we had something in common other than the same numbers of eyes and limbs. We all wanted to see a waterfall that Sunday afternoon. Would that other complexities could be that simple.

All content. pictures and verbiage ©2008 Joe Dempsey

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