Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Bald cypress trees in autumn at J. Percy Priest Lake
Some of my favorite trees to see in autumn are the bald cypress. These trees grow in TN primarily in ancient stream beds, often completely in the water. If I have a favorite color, this is it. The rust red-orange of these trees was stunning on a mostly cloudy Monday afternoon in November on the lake. It seems that the state is planting more of these trees, particularly on islands in Percy Priest Lake (which is the Stones River basin).
At one time, the biggest bald cypress tree east of the Mississippi lived in TN at Big Cypress Tree State Park in Greenfield, TN on the Obion River. The tree's diameter was 13 feet and its circumference was 40 feet. The tree lived to be 1,350 years old before lightning struck and killed the tree in 1976. The lightning knocked the top out of the tree and the tree smoldered for two weeks. Unfortunately, the tree is no longer standing.
J. Percy Priest Lake is not my favorite lake to visit due to it's over use, shallow depth and confusing channel. However, it was good to get out on the boat on a relatively quiet Monday afternoon. I did see other boaters, I think I may have been the only boater I saw who was not fishing. Anyway, got some decent guitar practicing in and some quiet time connecting with nature walking at Ponderosa Island. I'll be happy to claim it as part of Bill's TN Paradise.
The use of a GPS is indispensable on this lake where the navigation channel is often along the shoreline and not in the middle of the lake where you'd expect. Even with the GPS, I'm often hesitant to put the boat up on plane because it only takes a second to get off the channel into shallow water, and very often people fishing in small boats tend to sit in the center of the channel.