We love the way this southern live oak, aka Quercus virginiana, heaved itself up out of the salty soil of Cumberland Island, GA, several hundred years ago (the country’s oldest are over 1,000 years old). Live oak is the state tree of Georgia—and the southern symbol of strength. Like Southerners themselves, the wood is incredibly tough and durable. Remember the naval vessel USS Constitution? Nicknamed “Old Ironsides” after her live oak hull survived repeated cannon fire during the War of 1812.
Live oaks support many types of epiphytic (air) plants, including Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) and resurrection fern (Polypodium polypodioides). These plants don’t harm the tree—they make it even more beautiful. And its massive amount of acorns are food for wild turkeys, wood ducks, jays, quails, whitetail deer, raccoons, squirrels, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and black bears, among others.
See other bloggers’ interpretations of this week’s Photo Challenge “Twist” here.