Nature is important in my life as nature calms me, but nature also teaches me lessons. An obvious example - many here have asked me "Why 'Giraffe Head Tree'?" What is the significance? The visual allure is obvious. This big old broken off branch clearly looks like the head of a giraffe, while the lower broken off branch appears to be a front leg, perhaps. That was the initial appeal when we first bought this lot, cleared the underbrush and crowned up the trees a little. The tree guy wanted to cut off those broken branches but I wouldn't let him. "It's a giraffe's head - don't you see?" Clearly, he thought me bonkers.
One day carefully walking along the slope to see what treasures were growing there I happened to stand beneath the giraffe head tree and look up. What I saw astounded me. This lovely, old Shagbark Hickory is a survivor. All old trees are, of course. However, this grand tree in her younger years had been tested, had been threatened, had been assaulted for she twists upward like a whirling dervish reaching for the sky with all that she has.
This corkscrew pattern of growth means this tree beat out her competition. Long ago another tree competed for this space, this patch of sunlight, the meager nutrients in that one spot of ground. As they grew the battle became fierce, and this tree curved around her competitor until she eventually won the war. It's a survivor, my Giraffe Head Tree, and it now stands tall and strong as a testiment to endurance.
I use this tree as an example to my daughter - how persistance and patience and determination will win out as she strives daily to reach her goals. Since I'm still a developing person myself, I have posted a photo of my Giraffe Head Tree on my vision board for constant inspiration. She's a grand old lady, this Shagbark Hickory. Today, this post is about her in thanks for all that she gives me.