Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Passing by the palm

There is one area of my Ft. Pickens patrol that has always intrigued me and that is the where the Sabal Palm grows outside the old fort...about halfway between the southwest fort wall to the beach.

Everyone I've asked has said it's been there "forever", so the origin of this lone palm remains a mystery. Sabals (also called Cabbage Palms) don't produce 'coconuts', so it didn't start from a coconut that washed ashore one day. It stands tall and straight, so I doubt it escaped from a decades-old landscaping project on the mainland. Hmmmm...where did it come from?

Sabal Palms left on their own usually have a cross-hatch of old leaf stems going up the trunk, but considering the number of hurricanes this palm has gone through, it no surprise they have been torn away, leaving the trunk smooth.

If anyone has any speculation or old stories you've heard about it, feel free to weigh in. I love a good mystery story, but I'm that irritating person who has to check the last couple of pages to see how the story is going to end. In this case, I want to know the beginning!


Debbie (LSU Flag Lady) said...

Your picture reminded me of something from Joel Osteen.....
Studies prove that during a hurricane, a palm tree will simply stretch and not break from the strong winds. It's bent and pushed over, and all the while, it's root system is actually being strengthened and given new opportunities for growth. That is the same way we were built to be. It even says in Psalm 92:12, "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree." That means God knew there would be difficult times in our lives, that things would come against us, trying to steal our joy, peace and victory. He's not surprised by our difficulties, but rather knew ahead of time and equipped us with everything we need in Him! Because we have strong roots, we are going to bounce right back. The storms in life will come. The winds will blow. But no weapon formed against us will prosper! Thanks for the picture.

BaysideLife said...

I love this photo and that palm. It seems to really love it's location because it is a gorgeous specimen.

Sabal palms grow from seed and it is very likely that a seed found it's way to that spot. Squirrels, raccoon and many other species of mammal and bird enjoy visiting the cabbage palm for dinner feasts of fruit and seed. And as you know, what goes in the belly must come out. Many plants get their starts from the droppings of birds and animals.

Of course, this is just conjecture on my part. But if noone deliberately planted it in that location, then seed dispersal makes sense to me.

Barrier Island Girl said...

Claire, you are right (Sabals have berries/seeds). I had thought about that method before and realized how long that tree could have been there! I just love it!