https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1391&bih=711&q=big+tree+lamar+texas&oq=big+tree+lamar+texas&gs_l=img.3..0i24.1582.5510.0.5822.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1162.0j6j1.7.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..6.15.1180.GASGZNobi4wImages of the "Big Tree" on our peninsula, a live oak supposed to be 1100 years old. That's an impressive feat considering its proximity to a hurricane-prone coast. But we have only the one, not a whole grove of them.My husband read some years ago about a large room in Cambridge or Oxford with massive ceiling timbers many hundreds of years old. The powers that be sadly acknowledged that they were beyond repair and would have to be replaced. The university forester then reported that his forbears had passed down to him the information that a grove of oaks had been planted when that room was built, in the expectation that some day they would be needed to replace the beams--and the trees were still there, waiting to be turned into lumber.
That's an inspiring story.
Kipling wrote a short story on a similar theme- some US industrialist had purchased a title and was walking around his estate , when he chanced across two carpenters building a small bridge over a brook. He saw the care with which they were fitting heavy oak timbers and asked them, "why don't you just put a few 2x4's across.It is only a little creek?" The laborers replied, " Sir, this bridge has been here for 400 years". I grew up in New England, and coming out west to live in my teens it was apparent how recently settled everything was, in comparison to the old settlements back east. But they pale by comparison to the old world, and the sense of permanence in the building there is a real treat- it speaks deeper than architecture or art, and goes right to the heart of cultural confidence- the people who built them believed in who they were and where they were going. How I miss that. The beech trees at Avebury, around the old stone circle, are a sight to see- they have the smooth gray white bark typical of beeches, and the roots seem to crawl across the surface of the ground like giant pythons, rippling and intertwining.
Here are a few photo's of the Avebury beechs.http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/gbr/england/wiltshire/2359_aveburybarrows/
One of my favorite N.C. Weyeth paintings- Robin's archers in wait for the Kings men, hiding behind some trees- likely beech trees, the resemblance is clear. https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fillustratornate.files.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F11%2Frobin-hood-by-n-c-wyeth-1917.jpg%3Fw%3D625&f=1
Oh, I remember that occasion. It happened about the same time as our 2008 Summer picnic.
Your comment on beer as a pleasure and whiskey as medicine brought one of my favorite memories to the fore. Some years ago, on a rafting trip well north of the Arctic Circle, my wife, father, brother and daughter and I had an upset in a rather vigorous river. Everyone escaped drowning, but much of our gear was lost in the river-fortunately our tents and sleeping bags were retained as it dropped below freezing at night. I will always remember my fathers look of gratitude (he was an old man at the time, this was his last river trip) when I extracted a bottle of whiskey from the remains of our gear, so we could have a drink around the fire. Morale was much improved!
It's amazing the good it can do, in the right place and time. :)
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