Remarkable Trees of Virginia: Pope’s Creek Hackberry

remarkable trees of virginia hackberry-5707

A sort of part two to yesterday:

We did not plan to stop at Pope’s Creek after our fossil hunting trip, but not wanting the day to end, and not having searched out a Remarkable Tree of Virginia in so very long, we pulled in on our way home.  We explored the grounds, and declared the birthplace of George Washington to be one of our new favorite places.  Though this wasn’t our first visit, it was our first time spending more than a few minutes there.  There are an abundance of gorgeous old trees on the property in addition to a beautiful kitchen garden, heritage livestock, and we even saw tobacco drying in a shed.  The kids stopped to examine a big willow oak, and later Keats wanted a photo with a giant (loblolly?) pine.  We didn’t come upon the old historic hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis), and reason for our visit, until near the end of our time there.  It’s a gnarly old tree, full of character, though stripped of it’s leaves this time of year.

We will most definitely return to Pope’s Creek in the future, maybe on our next warm day.

**Our remarkable trees adventures over the years are inspired by Remarkable Trees of Virginia, one of our favorite books.  In fact, we are on our second copy, having loved the first one to pieces!

the last warm day

November fossil hunt-5249

We threw all plans out the window yesterday to take advantage of the last warm day for awhile (as far as we can see on the ten day forecast).  We haven’t fossil hunted in ages, so we headed to the beach.  As always, Beatrix soaked her feet in the first three minutes (despite our warnings) and then proceeded to cry because her feet were cold.  So she, Larkspur, Silas, and I abandoned the beach for a nearby playground.  The playground was promptly declared boring until I spotted a couple of persimmon trees nearby.  We tossed sticks at the branches, trying to knock the persimmons to the ground.  Great fun!  Supposedly persimmons are improved by frost, though I didn’t eat any because I hate the way they make my mouth feel.

My knitting stayed on the bench, and I didn’t miss it.

And–It was a great day for spotting wildlife:  a bald eagle and turkeys!

p.s.  I usually get emails asking about this beach.  It’s a private one, but there is a nearby public park:  Westmoreland State Park.  I give fossil hunting tips for finding places to hunt at the end of this post.