I snapped this pic (while riding in the car) on my way to New Orleans last week:
It may be kind of hard to tell, but one of the first things to strike you with a sense of wonder when you visit the deep South is the grandeur of beautiful, draping Spanish moss decorating the huge trees.
While the hanging moss has a mysterious appeal for people not used to seeing such natural beauty, Spanish moss-draped live oak trees thrive in the southeastern United States. If you don’t live there, then the charming and somewhat spooky appearance of the silver-gray strands, hanging like natural Halloween decorations, summon images of old plantations, bayous and the swamps like seen in movies. In fact, we were driving over marshland when I took this pic.
When it sways in the wind at night, this tangled “tree hair,” as the Native Americans called it, is both eerie and intriguing. French explorers dubbed it “Spanish Beard” as an insult, so the Spanish then named this moss “French Hair.” It’s been used as bedding, stuffing, upholstery, insulation, mulch, medicine and in arts and crafts; it’s even been used as an ingredient in making voodoo dolls.
Well, as a “first-timer” seeing these amazing trees I didn’t do anything with them except admire them for their beauty. Simply awesome.
Visiting Louisiana anytime soon? Don’t forget to take in the natural beauty too.
Take care, Ryan