Grab a Tall Glass of Sweet Tea, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Yes you ARE in the DEEP South

Could anything possibly scream old Deep, Deep South more than this picture? Clues? The old Southern live oak trees (quercus virginiana). And the Spanish Moss.

Spanish moss isn’t really a moss, but a living, flowering plant. It’s an angiosperm from the bromeliad family. It tends to favor warm, humid conditions and that’s why it’s so commonly found in the Deep South growing in the the trees of preference, Southern live oaks and bald cypress.

Industrious minded folk have found use for the stuff over the years: building insulation, mulch, padding for mattresses (umm, no thanks), and in the 1900s it was used to pad the seats of a new contraption called an automobile. Today we still have uses for it in arts and crafts, flower beds and I think I’ll run from this one…stuffing for voodoo dolls…

As far as the Southern live oak, there are several famous old ones still living. There’s the Treaty Oak trees…one in Texas and one in Florida. And of course, as a shout out to my home state Alabama, there are the two at Toomer’s Corner on Auburn University’s campus. Unfortunately, not too long after Auburn won the National Championship, some basketcase poisoned the tree and now it appears to be dying.

And of course, the wood for the USS Constitution was harvested from Southern live oaks growing on St. Simons Island, GA. The wood from the Southern live oak is so hard that when they finished building the ship and it was used in the Revolutionary War against the Brits the Colonials were delighted to find out that the Brits cannon balls just bounced right off the ship, thus earning it the nickname “Old Ironside”.

Today’s picture was taken a couple months ago in a sleepy little town called Darien, GA one of the oldest settlements in Georgia, with a history dating back to Colonial days.

To me nothing says Southern like a big ol’ house with a big porch and throw in those Southern live oaks and Spanish moss, and well, you have a Southern classic. You can almost feel the humidity, smell the gardenias and settle in on that porch with a tall glass of sweet tea…

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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2 Comments

Filed under "American History", Darien GA, Georgia, Horticulture, Old South, Old Southern Oaks, Photography, Picture of the Day, Plants, South, Southern, Southerners, Spanish Moss, St Simons Island, St. Simons Island GA, Toomer's Corner

2 responses to “Grab a Tall Glass of Sweet Tea, by Beverly Hicks Burch

  1. I just found your site while surfing for other southern blogs, so I know this post is from a few months back. But I totally agree about the live oaks.

    Two spots I’d give a Dixiefied shout out to are the oaks which line the driveway to Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston SC (a pic of me in a bow tie in front of them has remained my profile pic for quite awhile), and the trees on the campus of LSU. Beautiful campus. And I’m an Ole Miss grad saying that!

    I’m glad I found this site too, I like what I’ve seen so far.

    warmest Virginia/Mississippi regards,

    Mark/Southern blogger

    • Thanks for stopping by Mark. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. You might also want to check out my cooking blog, The BamaSteelMagnolia’s Bistro where I share a lot of my recipes, new and old. I combine my collections of recipes and Southern cooking and cooking from my husband’s southwestern roots.

      Good luck on that job interview!

      Bev

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