The early morning dance of tupelo trees on Merchants Millpond, NC.
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Morning light silhouettes Spanish moss hanging pendant from the crooked limbs of a water tupelo. Water tupelos grow in the same flooded environment as bald cypress. Unlike the cypress, they don’t have protruding knees.
The branches of the tupelo often assume contorted shapes like menacing characters in a child’s fairy tale. Large misshapen boles form on the trunks of older trees. I can imagine how mythical they must appear on a moonlit night with clouds scudding before the wind, like monuments in an ancient necropolis.
Wood ducks eat their fruit in season and bees favor their flowers, heavy with nectar. Bowfin, bluegill, and chain pickerel often lurk in the dark water around the submerged trunks of tupelo, hunted in turn by alligators.
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