A 400 year old oak tree and a 300 year old garden and a blessing of the fleet- reasons to spend a weekend in Charleston!
ANGEL OAK TREE
We visited the Angel Live Oak tree- a 400 year old “Southern Live Oak” tree standing 66.5 feet tall, it measures 28 feet in circumference and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. Great effort is made to support the limbs, and protect the roots. Its longest branch is 187 feet. (wikepedia)
The Angel oak is named after the family descended from the original 1717 land grant. Local folklore tells stories of ghosts of former slaves appearing as angels around the tree. A little research shows that the Angel Tree is the 210th Live Oak to be registered with the “live Oak Society.’
One bit of information leads to another, and I wondered, what is the Live Oak Society? Wikepedia provided the following information: The Live Oak Society was founded in 1934 to register large trees of the Southern Live Oak variety. In the society bylaws, the only human member permitted in the Society is the honorary Chairman, who is responsible for registering and recording live oak members. To become a member, a Live Oak Tree must have a girth of 8 feet or greater, (measured 4.5 feet above the ground.) In 2013, the society had 7114 registered members dating from 1934. (noting that many are labeled as deceased). The live oak with the largest girth serves as President of the Society. Some Southern Trivia for my arborist friends.
There were a few alligators near the paths! With over 500 acres to explore, there is something for everyone- tour the gardens, the plantation, the slave quarters, Ride the nature train or take Nature boat tours. There is a maze, a petting zoo and walking trails around the Audubon Swamp garden (watch for alligators) We stopped at the petting zoo and saw a beautiful peacock strut its colors! GULLAH SWEETGRASS BASKETS A low country tradition ; an African Art Form. The beautiful traditional sweet grass baskets are hand made and sold in stands through out the area. We first saw them a the City Market. Representing a 300 year tradition of lowcountry African American Art form – the hand woven baskets are a work of art. One of the skills brought to America by slaves transported from West Africa and the Sierra Leone area was basketry. Originally use to make tools for winnowing rice, the technique has been passed down through the generations. West Africa resembles South Carolina in both climate and landscape, and rice had long been cultivated there. In slaves, plantation owners gained not only the labor force, but also a wealth of knowledge and skill as they began to develop the rice industry in the colonies. The slave trade is part of the Charleston fabric of history; and is represented in tours and museums to educate and preserve the memories of those who lived and worked in that era. BLESSING OF THE FLEET Sunday May 2nd, we visited Mt Pleasant to attend the 30th annual Blessing of the Fleet. This annual event recognizes the shrimping industry; and the parade of shrimp boats each receive a blessing as the pass by the pier.
Several shrimp boats had multiple generations in the parade- a father captained one; and a son captained the next boat.
The festival also provided a variety of seafood stands and music, and an arts and crafts area. Can you tell by the menus that we are not in Minnesota ?
DINERS DRIVE-INS AND DIVES STOP
Back in the day when we had cable tv- the Food Network was a favorite. The Glass Onion serves local food . I will close today with a few shots of the Glass Onion.
. So ends a great stay in Charleston- one more city we highly recommend for anyone planning a trip!