Still on Watch

Deserted, severed tree trunk

Shattered by storms long ago

Splitting this giant in two

Forsaken now in its woes

 

Nature’s hand calling the shots

Drawing dark cards from the deck

Standing alone, slowest death

Trying to salvage this wreck

 

Deformed snag appears lifeless

Yet, God calls this wildlife tree

Standing proudly, still on watch

Nature’s snack bar waits for free

Living nearby, log still lives

Covered with lichens and moss

Home for God’s smallest creatures

Termites, beetles . . . march across

 

Jagged stump remains on guard

Below the ground, roots still thrive

Life holds on, another year

Perseverance to survive

 

Around the dark, scuttled tree

Racing to reach sunlight first

Young saplings growing skyward

Cycle of life, marked to burst

All of the photographs were taken at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park, which is located just outside of Canal Winchester, Ohio.  I frequently walk this park during the fall, spring, and summer months with an occasional hike in the wintertime.

Mister Sycamore

 

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Far older than every one of the neighboring trees

Standing taller than many, all take notice and see

 

The prized King of Walnut Woods reigns today

Calling him Mister Sycamore, his subjects say

 

With branches elevating up towards the sky

Measuring his girth, takes many hands to try

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Many visitors walk by and stare in amazement

Standing as the park’s landmark, a monument

 

The Woods change from season to season

Watching over all, is the King’s main reason

 

He holds on to his leaves longer in fall

Guarding the land in winter, always tall

 

His leaves take some time to fill out in spring

Providing ample shade in summer is his thing

 

His expansive canopy of branches spreads wide

Peeling off sections of bark, creates whitish sides

 

His heir, the Prince, waiting in the wings

Rising lean and tall by a creek, he sings

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Farther away, a thick grove of younger ones wait

Dreaming who will grow to be the tallest, so great

 

Mister Sycamore loves many Bible stories

Lifting Jesus up in total and brilliant glory

 

The story of Zacchaeus climbing a Sycamore tree

Being much too short for Jesus to find, there he be

Ohio’s biggest recorded tree is an American Sycamore found in Ashland County near Jeromesville.  The tree is at least 200 years old, stands 88 feet tall, and measures 326 inches around its circumference.  To read more and see photographs, use this link:

http://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/oh-ashland/majestic-giant-sycamore-is-ohios-biggest-recorded-tree