I’d love to know how many Spaniards passed this tree. Maybe even Ponce de Leon as he searched for the “Fountain of Youth” on the Ichetuknee River.
—Jay Jackson from Matthews, North Carolina on “Planting the Future”
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That picture reminded me of being a boy on the Crystal River, on the lower east coast of Florida near Punta Gorda. My grandfather, who'd been in the Pacific during WWII, took me out in his canoe for an afternoon on the river.
At one point, we neared a cypress stump like that and he told me to reach out to steady the boat; suddenly he said "pull back!," jumped up and neatly sliced a water moccasin in half with the oar.
He had surprisingly good speed and balance for a man of his age and condition (he died of heart failure a couple of years later).