Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Don't Hate Me Because My Palmettos Are Beautiful
These are the palmettos that live along our sandy driveway. I'm just a frame of reference in the top picture so you can grasp how unpalmettoey these palmettos are. Most palmettos grow horizontally and the fronds only come up to about waist level. (The frond at far left is from a pindo palm ... not palmetto)
I wrote about palmettos a while back, but did not have a shot of these tall, shade grown beauties, so I thought I'd share these today.
Inside the gallery, looking up.
That brown fibrous covering around the trunk is very useful stuff. First immigrant Floridians used it to weave cordage and cloth. The bird and squirrel (treerats!) love it for nest lining material. I'm sure Survivor Man would tell us it is good tinder ... and he would be correct.
I taught a student once, Jason, who could make the coolest mouth whistle by taking a piece of palmetto frond doing a quick slice, tuck, and fold with his pocket knife (it was before we were all so freaked out by a boy with a pocket knife). He showed me how several times, but now, it's been years and I would have to ask him to teach me again.
What a neat kid. He was smart enough to be successful in college, but knew what he wanted, and it wasn't college. He wanted to get a job and work just enough so he could hunt, fish, look for arrowheads, and be outside. He drives a dumptruck for the road department now, but he can nap an arrowhead that would put the Clovis folks to shame.
I drove past his family's homesite last weekend and noticed they were having a yard sale. There were the usual handmade signs advertising the sale along the road like Burma Shave signs. One of them said, "Arrowheads For Sale".
I wonder if they were found or recently napped by Jason.
Oh well, "buyer beware" as they say.
Leaning towards the light.
Credit for these lovely palmettos should go to the unseen live oaks that shade them most of the day. They are the artists who collaborated on this project.
I'm just the maintenance man who trims the old fronds and admires their handywork in this quiet, green art gallery.
P.S. If the title of this post seems odd ... odder than usual I mean, you're just too young to remember an old hair product commercial.