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Twisted Limbs

There is something admirable and enviable about the dogged persistence of the bald cypress. The years are engraved in their trunks and their limbs carry the weight of storms. Spanish moss shrouds them like memories. They grow in shunned places – swamps and wetlands that most people fear – and they endure for centuries.

One cypress tree in the Three Sisters Swamp of the Black River is 2,624 years old, probably older. That tree was a sapling when Nebuchadnezzar sacked Solomon’s Temple and the Jews dreamed of a messiah while captive in Babylon.

We think of trees as no more intelligent than a stone. We lack imagination, imagining all intelligence circumscribed by the exigencies of predator and prey, but not all intelligence is tooth and claw.

I wonder if we would recognize an alien intelligence if it crossed the gap between stars and appeared in front of us. Would we see what we don’t expect, what we don’t believe possible, or would we continue to blindly believe ourselves the only intelligence on this planet?

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Sound Rivers

Five percent of the profits from all sales on this site are donated to Sound Rivers, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the quality of rivers on the Carolina coastal plain.

Twisted Limbs

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Description

The gnarled trunk of a bald cypress rising from the blackwater of Pembroke Creek looks like a storybook character from the Brothers Grimm.

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18"x12" Print, 24"x16" Print, 30"x20" Print, 36"x24" Print

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