I live in the land of evergreen giants flocked by frozen fog and snowflakes and framed by a clear blue sky.
Taylor County is the southern-most county in Wisconsin with national forestland. The edge of a glacier, the soils, the climate caused many farmers to try and fail and lose their land for lack of paying taxes with the land becoming federal forestland.
We are a county where grass (hay) and trees grow best. And since lumber was king, sawyers cut and cut down the giants, not many remain. The Gerstberger white pines near Rib Lake were one of the last virgin stands in the area, but age has ravaged them so more of them have died and fallen than remain reaching above the surrounding deciduous trees.
Across Castle Road from us, there were three giants, but fear of lightning strikes drove the owners to cut down two of them (the fear was justified – being tall in a lightning storm has disadvantages, the pines had been struck several times). One remains and it was glorious this cold frosty morning (Christmas Eve day 2013).
Big, old trees are so cool. Sure, we don’t have sequoias or redwoods, but the old oaks, maples, and white pines have presence and I’m in awe. This is much better than light strings and plastic icicles on a fake tree (see all those trimmed pines in the background – yes that is a Christmas tree plantation).
- Day 352: Something Beautiful – Holiday Off the Grid (mtmuchmore.wordpress.com)