Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tree Hunt Continues...

One of many signs on the Great Tree Hunt!

My adventure of the Great Saint Louis Tree Hunt has begun! I have found eight of the thirty trees on the hunt thus far. The hunt has been a great excuse to explore areas of my usual haunts that I have never seen before; far corners of Forest Park, hidden Gems in Lafayette Square, and beyond. I also chose to do a large portion of my hunt in a greener fashion, by utilizing my bicycle and public transit, something that I have grown partial to. Being a resident of Saint Louis, it would be silly not to get out there and rub elbows with my fellow Saint Louis neighbors!

My Transportation for the day, at Metro-link Station Airport Terminal 1.

One of the first trees I found was a Catalpa in Tower Grove Park. This tree holds a special place in my heart because I used to climb a large Catalpa tree when I was a child. It also happens to be the first tree I fell out of, knocking the wind out of myself, and in fear of telling my mother I fell out of the tree, I never told her until some time later. Ironic that today I still enjoy climbing large trees, only now days I utilize a harness and safety rope!

Catalpa bignoniodes (Cigar Tree)

Another Tree I found interesting was an Osage Orange in Forest Park, or should I say, hidden in Forest Park. This tree was off a woods path I never knew existed, but when I found it, I was glad I had taken a chance! This was a tree with-in a tree. A Large oak tree had began to rot, and all that was left was a hollow stump. A Native American Ceremonial tree was planted with-in the stump, and will continue to live where one has passed.

Osage Orange is another Tree that has a special place in my memory, as we used to take the large fruit, which we called hedge apples, and roll them down the country road, and compete to see who could "bowl" them the furthest.

Osage Orange Maclura pomifera

Osage Orange Maclura pomifera Fruit

If anyone would like a workbook for the great Saint Louis Tree Hunt, Please let me know, I have enough copies to go around (A few hundred in fact.) You can learn more about the Missouri Botanical Tree Hunt here, and there are some prizes for those that finish the hunt by the deadline! Any excuse to get out and enjoy trees is okay in my book, so I hope you get a chance to enjoy some as well!

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