Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Knobbly Knees

Somehow I found myself in New Orleans for the weekend, just a while back. It was a super nice reprieve from the damn polar vortex (that I try every day to not complain about). The 50 degree air and hot/cold running rum cocktails were just what the doctor ordered. So much so that we decided to go for a very long walk around the city's Audubon Park to get as much sun and air as possible. It didn't take a lot of walking for me to find a couple dozen Bald Cypress trees, hanging out at the shallow end of the lagoon. Bald Cypresses are pretty much my FAAAAAAAAAAAVORITE tree. They sorta defy being categorized, since they have needles (coniferous) but aren't evergreen (ya, deciduous) and thank BEIGNETS they aren't evergreen, that fall color is simply scrumptious (think vivid mustard to coppery russet).
Here's a photo I took at the park:
See those tasty bits of tree niblet there near the water? Those are the trees' knees. Yup, that's the technical term for them. I tend to explain them as buttresses for trees but who knows what they really are. People routinely cut them off and make stuff out of them. Isn't that odd?

I did't think much about it when I was there, taking photograph after photograph of them (we have Bald Cypresses in Chicago but they don't get knees, not enough water) that all look the same, but my parents had a giant, lumpy knee in our living room growing up. It must have been a gift because I can't see either of them wanting one. We used to play caveman with it and it was used for clubbing each other on the head. Explains a lot.
Here are some  things people make out of them:

Sorta cool retro lamps (they are pricey!)
And there's an eBay seller here in Illinois that makes Santas eating Chicago foods:

That's all I have to say about Cypress knees, yo.
What do YOU have to say about them?

1 comment:

Border Dog Blog said...

EXCELLENT !!!!