} Mighty, Mighty Oak

I mentioned to Willow several weeks ago that I had an Oak Tree growing straight up out of a rock in my back forty, and I promised him I would take a photo of it when the snow melted. Willow has the most gnarly looking cherry tree, which I secretly covet, in his backyard.

Here’s the oak.

It is growing through the centre of an enormous piece of the Canadian Shield. I like to think a single acorn was dropped in a crack years and years ago, probably by a roaming deer or a scavenging chipmunk.

Below is his root, which has forced its way through the rock and goes on for about 40 feet, before it finally reaches the edge of the rock and sinks into the earth.


Every time I go out there, I come back a little more humble. I may be mighty, but I’m not THAT mighty.



  1. timethief said,

    March 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Wow! That’s pretty amazing. We have examples of and fir and garry oaks that trees that are likewise growing out of cracks in the shelf rock.

    • March 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

      Thanks! There’s a lot of trees that are growing on top of the rocks, but this one I like because he’s pushing through the rock, making it crack…it just blows me away. The trees that are growing on top of the rocks often fall over, and you’re left with this MASSIVE root system standing upright instead of laying on the ground, that’s very cool to see too.

  2. willowbatel said,

    March 19, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Wow! Look at that! That’s incredible. It’s so random, just sitting out there kind of by itself. I’m surprised there isn’t more dirt on the ground. Oak leaves are messy when they start to decompose. I bet that looks amazing when it rains; all the water running along side that root. It’s bizarre that that’s the only root above surface. That root is probably the only source of water it gets. None of the other roots would get anything; the soil underneath that rock has to be pretty dry.
    How big is your property by the way, and what does your husband do that you can afford so much land? You seem to always have some fantastical nature thing going on somewhere in your yard.
    My cherry tree is just starting to open its blooms by the way. Surprisingly it’s white. It smells like vanilla. I’ll post a picture tomorrow maybe.

    • March 19, 2010 at 10:54 am

      YAY! Cherry blossoms! Isn’t there some sort of cherry blossom festival down there?
      Our land really isn’t that big, we only own a couple of acres of it, but we’re surrounded by what’s called “Crown Land”, which means it’s owned by the people/government and can’t be developed. Except for this little square right at the back of my property, which is up for sale for a huge amount of money (way more then it’s worth) I do have neighbours, there’s four families that live on my road, and one hunt-camp that only gets used about 4 weeks out of the year. My husband is two things. One, he’s a full-time mechanic (a very good one “$CHA-CHING$”) and he’s also a fire-fighter. I personally am semi-retired, since half of my kids are all grown up!…lol…I’ve been paid very well over the past 20 years to raise good quality humans!
      I see a lot of fantastic things I think, because I look for them. Most people just take things for granted, so they don’t notice what’s going on around them. I’m trying to capture a picture of the bald eagle that lives in the marsh in front of my house because even the people up here have a hard time believing that Canada has a population of the birds. It’s like anyone outside of the district refusing to believe we have rattlesnakes. Everyone seems to think both eagles and rattlers are an American thing! Okay…I’m going now, I seem to just be rambling!

      • willowbatel said,

        March 20, 2010 at 2:08 am

        Well in Salem Oregon they have cherry blossoms EVERYWHERE. The streets turn white from all of the falling petals, or so I’ve heard.
        They’re always trying to sell land for more than it’s worth. A lot of the TINY empty lots around here (some of them wouldn’t fit my house) cost more then my house does. It’s ridiculous. I feel like I really should learn how to be a mechanic. Or at the very least learn how to use a wrench.
        Of course Canada has Bald Eagles. Why wouldn’t it? They go all the way up to Alaska as part of some migratory thing I think. Rattle snakes do surprise me a little bit though. Isn’t it kind of COLD there the majority of the year? (That was semi-rhetorical.) No but animals adapt to anything and everything, so that’s not too surprising.

        • March 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm

          We have the Massassauga Rattler, which is actually native to Ontario as well as the US. Really only people who live in Central Ontario know they exist up here. For the most part, people associate them with the southern States.
          I recommend learning how to use a wrench, but my husband will tell you to stay away from being a mechanic. He tells everyone to stay away. It’s a rather stigma filled occupation (he hates automotive commercials on TV that portray mechanics as dopey, dumb grease monkeys) and it’s physically hard on the body. He’s always trying to talk my sons out of it.

  3. timethief said,

    March 20, 2010 at 11:09 am

    We also have bald eagles in the gulf islands and a few golden eagles as well. I enjoy watching the ravens harass them when the eagles enter their territory. Ravens typically live about 10 to 15 years in the wild, although lifespans of up to 40 years have been recorded. Young birds may travel in flocks, but later mate for life, with each mated pair defending a territory. The pair that live on my property are about 20 years old and the pair across the road are over 30 years old. For some reason another section of our property is where the young ravens from all over choose to flock and carry on. They are fascinating birds – innovators who problem solve.

    It’s very dry here from May to November and water is scarce. When we had horses we had to abandon using water troughs. Ravens wash their food before eating it and they also liked to bathe in the water troughs too. Well and once they have done that the horses would not drink from the troughs, so we had to put our tall narrow 5 gallon buckets of water for the horses to drink. Once the ravens noticed they had the troughs to themselves they began vocalizing when we refilled the pails making it clear that they wanted fresh water in “their troughs” too.

    • March 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      That’s hilarious! It’s so interesting how nature takes claim over *our* things. When I harvest the fruits and veggies I always leave enough behind for the wildlife in the hopes that THEY will leave enough for ME. I’m going to pay more attention to the ravens on the property. I don’t think there is any nesting here but they do flock in droves to the back of the property in the spring and fall. It’s an amazing sight when they all take flight at the same time. And the noise!
      I had no idea they lived that long.
      Not many people believe me when I talk about the eagle in the marsh. My own husband thought I was cracked the first few years we lived here, until he finally saw it circling overhead.

  4. March 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    These photos are so beautiful, and I really like this theme/color scheme/layout.
    That tree has such personality!

    • March 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you so much! Although I can’t take credit for the theme. That was all Becca.
      Sometimes I worry this tree will be struck by lightning, as it’s out in the open by itself. I think however, he’d be mighty enough to survive.

  5. March 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Wow, the root jutting out of the ground looks like a semi lizard semi snake, doesn’t it?

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