Friday, September 9, 2011
Flora and Fauna Friday
White Oak - Quercus alba
Quercus alba, the White Oak, is one of the pre-eminent hardwoods of eastern North America. It is a long-lived oak of the Fagaceae family. Specimens are known to have lived over 600 years.
Although called a white oak, it is very unusual to find an individual specimen with white bark; the usual color is a light gray. In the forest it can reach a magnificent height and is the open it develops into a massive broad-topped tree with large branches striking out at wide angles.
Normally not a very tall tree, typically 65-85 feet at maturity, it nonetheless becomes quite massive and its lower branches are apt to extend far out laterally, parallel to the ground.
In the spring, the young leaves are of a delicate, silvery pink and covered with a soft, blanket-like down. The petioles are short, and the leaves which cluster close to the ends of the shoots are pale green and downy with the result that the entire tree has a misty, frosty look. This condition continues for several day, passing through the opalescent changes of soft pink, silvery white and finally yellow green.
"The distinctive geodesic dome house became fully visible as Christopher passed the massive White Oak Tree that had long marked Peter’s chosen portion of the Bevins Trust land."
Page 62, "The Homeplace Revisited"
"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."