I know that is not earth day anymore, but who said that earth day have to be only on April 22? It should be every day, like every day is mothers day for my mother.
A bit of Story here, on 1970 a movement to focus on the enviroment was started by Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson. This movement was so strong that lead to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and the Endangered Species Acts. And thats how earth day started, now, lets talk about who is hidden in the Everglades National Park.
You have heard of The US National Parks before,you have heard about the Everglades National Parks and you have heard about the wet lands, the birds and all the gators that you can find at the Everglades National Park. But have you heard about a little giant that has been living there for decades? Most likely no.
Probably not many people will be in search of this Little giant, but the ones who do, are the ones that really appreciate nature. Many people will think that it will be hard to find, or some people will say, this is only a tree.
I present you here what I personally called, My Little Giant. People know her better as the Z Tree or the N Tree.
She is a dwarf cypress trees. The cypress reproduce by sexual reproduction. The pollen from male flowers fertilizes female flowers and produces viable seeds. Cypress trees are monoecious plants, which means that each tree produces both male and female flowers. Being said, I took the liberty to give her a gender, so she is my Z Tree.
These dwarf cypress are family of the famous christmas trees and the famous sequoia trees that you can find at the Sequoia National Park in California. Both the cypress and pine are conifers, meaning they produce seeds in cones, but do not produce flowers or fruit.
My biggest question is, why this dwarf cypress is bend like this and how long it has been like this?
After days of researching and talks on the phone with an Everglades National park Ranger, there is not much scientific explanation about the deformation of this dwarf cypress tree.
Some people claim that native americans intentionally shaped with distinctive characteristics that convey that these tree where shaped by human activity rather than deformed by nature or diseases. Native Americans would bend young trees to create permanent trail markers, designating safe paths through rough country and pointing travelers toward water, food or other important landmarks.
I was thinking that probably somebody step on the tree when she was younger and then hurricane winds bended the second part, who knows… but there is no doubt that this dwarf cypress tree is a very strong dwarf cypress tree.
I started my Sunday at 4:30am. I drove 1.5 hours. I walked back and forward a few times to find her. I spent 2 hours admiring her and enjoying the environment that she lives in. I was bitten by more than a hundred mosquitos. I stared at her scars. I wonder for how long she has been there. And I asked her, how much longer you will be here?
But the question should be, How much longer we will let her be there?
I you find her on one of your visit to the Everglades National Parks, please be kind and be gentle. Enjoy her beauty and be mindful as you breathe the oxygen that she is giving you.
“On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.”
Even is she is not tall and doesn’t look strong, she has been here longer than us, and she will be here for a lot longer.