Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Guardian at Oak Ledge Park

In Oakledge Park a massive English oak tree spreads its gnarly, twisted limbs skyward. I often coast downhill to where it stands as a sentinel on the water's edge. I like to see that it still has firm footing, because this is not just any tree; it is over 200 years old.

In fact, this tree is recognized as living during the American Revolution. I envision this beautiful, elderly oak as a young sapling, watching the gun boats of our first navy sail north. The historical significance of all that this tree has witnessed, boggles my mind.

Unfortunately, this tree is often overlooked and taken for granted. Sunbathers walk by this tree in summer to claim space on the beach or ledges, some under the tree's canopy. In my Internet research of this big oak I found one write-up and that was buried in state arbor listings, displaying height and branch spread. It gets short shrift compared with a handicapped accessible tree house only a few yards away.

Look at this beauty. She has a splendid view of the Burlington harbor. With a sigh, I admire her girth and look overhead at her brown leaves then get on my bike for the steep climb back to the bike path.

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