Do you have a favorite tree? I have a few. They are trees that I pass regularly when out walking, jogging, or in my car running errands. These are the ones that catch my eye, make me slow down, the ones whose bark I have to touch, the ones I’m drawn to with my camera. In September, we had a major storm that knocked out power for two days and brought down or damaged many local trees, including my favorite oak tree on River Road.
This tree had been standing since 1776, the year of the signing of the US Declaration of Independence. I loved to imagine what this tree had seen. It had a plaque. I tried to find information about the plaque, but I found nothing about this particular tree and what I find about other bicentennial trees is vague. I always wondered why this particular tree had been singled out for a plaque since it’s on a quiet dirt road. Was it a busy road at one point? Were there more houses near it? Was the Declaration of Independence read near here? Maybe someone who live near me will read this and have some answers.
I regret that I never went out of my way to visit the tree with my camera during beautiful light. I mostly took phone photos of it while I was jogging. I always intended to bring my camera there, but I always assumed there would be more time. After all, it had already been standing for nearly 250 years.
I did drive by with my camera a few days after I heard it had fallen.
Someone else left a memorial. Knowing the tree is gone breaks my heart, but I feel comforted knowing that someone else cared.
I have another favorite tree on this road, a beautiful old shagbark hickory. I’m going to make sure to show it some love.