Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Cypress Tree and Me

I promised to tell you more about the cypress tree and my relationship to them, so, here goes. These trees grow in wet areas, along rivers, lake shores, and springs. Cypress trees are known for the growths on their roots called “knees”. No one really knows what these “knees” do, but, --are you ready? -- I am one of these cypress knees. There are many of us here in the swamp. All of us are different and no two look alike. Here are pictures of me and all of my friends.

“For decades this tree stood and observed the changing of the swamp. Its roots have put out an extension called a “knee”. Mother Nature truly sculpted them into works of art that cannot be equaled by man. Even more amazing is that the “knee” serves no purpose to the tree. It is as if it were put here for us to enjoy. “ Geneva Hays, Olla, Louisiana, 1989

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life in the Swamp

Bonjour. I got that from the big man. The swamp is an interesting place to live. Beaver, muskrat, and weasel live here, so does the possum and raccoon.

Fish swim all around me. Scary critters live here too. Alligators, snakes and turtles are everywhere, but I’m not afraid. They’re my friends. Spanish moss, lily pads and cypress trees surround me. I am especially fond of the cypress tree. I actually owe my existence to them. I will tell more about that later. Some of my younger human friends have drawn pictures of me. I will include one each week for you to enjoy. Gotta go now. Bye

“It is early morning and the sun is just beginning to rise over the cypress tree tops. The mist is rising and in the distance, an owl gives its lonesome call. Spanish moss hangs in ghostly threads from tree limbs and an alligator slowly raises its head searching for its breakfast. Around the cypress tree roots, fish and turtles are seeking their first meal of the day. A lone beaver swims by on his way home after a long night’s work. This is my home and I love living here.” Geneva Hays, 1989

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Somewhere in the Swamp

Hello again. It’s me, Nick. I thought I would let you know how things are going. I live in a bayou that is part of a large swamp somewhere in the southern United States. The big man in the bateau was here this morning. He comes here almost every day to fish. I like him. He is always talking to the animals and plants and seems to know us all by name. “Hello little sac-a-lait. Bonjour Mister Cypress Tree. “ The big man has lived here for over eighty years but his home is not in the swamp. I heard him say that he lives between the cities of Monroe and Baton Rouge, in a place called Louisiana. The next time we talk, I will tell you about my friends here in the swamp. See you later.

Sac-a-lait is the name by which both black and white crappie are known in Louisiana, especially in Southern Louisiana, but white crappie are more commonly called by this special Cajun name for one of anglers’ all time favorite fish.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week 1: Hi, I am Nick

Hello. Welcome to the story of my life. I will be posting each week until my journey is completed. Throughout history, people have searched for a representation of the goodness in mankind. The tradition of giving gifts during the holidays is one of the most enduring aspects of the season. Those living in America associate the practice with the Jolly Old Man himself, Santa Claus. Santa is the joy and happiness of Christmas’ past and the hopes and dreams of Christmas’ future and has been around in one guise or another for hundreds of years. Holiday Visitors around the world look different, but the qualities they possess and the impact they have upon the peoples of the world affirms what we have known all along. They are different versions of the same ideals; the collective conscience of mankind. The distinct styles and colors of dress, methods of travel, dates of arrival and ethnic and gender representations reflect the diversity of our earth. Because of these differences, I have been called many names over the centuries, but you can call me “Nick”.
Watercolor by Gene Black

Other Santa Images: