Swamp apple cathedral

And you thought the Tamiami Trail was old!
Turns out it has the same birthday at this apple tree, also around 80 years old.

I don’t have any tree cores to prove it.
But it’s been a prodigious apple producer over the decades, and is still going strong:
Talk about some good apple sauce.
Speaking of apple producers, the wetting front in Big Cypress National Preserve has now risen out of the pond apple forests and into the “higher” wetlands beyond.
That’s when they transform, at least to my eyes, into Swamp Cathedrals.
I say that because of the intricate lattice work of the pond apple branches – (if you really squint hard you can see the spandrels) – and the open canopy view they often provide to the towering cypress giants that rise around their perimeter, and finally, how they taper gently to the outer edge of the dome, not unlike a flying buttress.
The solitude of this “inner sanctum” of the swamps – surrounded by its three-dimensional structure – is also an inspirational place to be for pondering the beauty and mystery of nature: …
… So long as the mosquitoes aren’t too thick.
Here’s a photo of a real cathedral in Liege, Belgium for comparison.
The photo of the apple tree was taken in a small town in eastern Belgium.
By the way, you can eat a pond apple, sometimes called a swamp apple: They are edible so long as you wait for them to ripen towards the fall.

But you have to be a bit of a swamp purist to brave a bite of a pond apple however, let alone enjoy it.
My advice is to stick with the northern-grown apple varieties like the ones you’d see if you climbed up a couple rungs on this ladder.

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