Cypress Knees Quotes

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Mr. Raney named the porpoises - Sister Woman, and Renford, and Lamar, and St. Elmo - and could recognize them, and call each by its name, even at night, six feet long, some of them, with a million sharp teeth and a naughty grin. Often when he floated past in the boat and watched their playful wheeling, in and out among the cypress knees, he called out to them, "Lamar, we are all alone in the world!" or "Renford, cork is an export product of India!
Lewis Nordan (The Sharpshooter Blues (Front Porch Paperbacks))
Here- instead of the estuaries and enormous sweeps of grass as in her marsh- clear water flowed as far as she could see through a bright and open cypress forest. Brilliant white herons and storks stood among the water lilies and floating plants so green they seemed to glow. Hunched up on cypress knees as large as easy chairs, they ate pimento-cheese sandwiches and potato chips, grinning as geese glided just below their toes.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Helen All Greece hates the still eyes in the white face, the lustre as of olives where she stands, and the white hands. All Greece reviles the wan face when she smiles, hating it deeper still when it grows wan and white, remembering past enchantments and past ills. Greece sees, unmoved, God’s daughter, born of love, the beauty of cool feet and slenderest knees, could love indeed the maid, only if she were laid, white ash amid funereal cypresses.
H.D. (Collected Poems, 1912-1944)
Fir, cedar, pines, oaks, and maples densely timbered this section. But it was the redwoods that never failed to fill him with awe. Their feathery-looking needles and reddish bark. The way they stretched up to incredible heights and the sheer magnitude of their circumferences. How long ago had God planted their seeds? Hundreds of years? Thousands? As he stood amongst those mighty giants, he realized the land wasn’t his at all. It was God’s. God had formed and planted the seeds. He’d tended the soil and caused it to rain. He’d needed no man. Least of all Joe. Yet over and over Joe had thought of this as his own. My land. My logging camp. My house. My woman. My everything. Picking up his ax, he returned to his work. But in his mind, he reviewed a list of men in the Bible who’d left everything they held dear for parts unknown. Abraham. Jacob. Joseph. Moses. Even a woman. Esther. In every case, their circumstances were much more severe than his. God hadn’t commanded Joe to leave his land, though he’d prayed for guidance. Fasted. Read his Bible. But God had remained silent. Joe simply assumed God was letting him choose. But no matter what he chose, none of it was really his. It was all God’s. And God was sharing it with him. So which did he want? Both. Like a spoiled child, he definitely wanted both. But if he could only have one, wouldn’t he still be a man blessed? Yes. And he’d praise God and thank Him. But that didn’t immediately make the grief shrivel up and blow away. Eyeing where he wanted the tree to fall, he adjusted his stance. I want Anna, Lord. I choose Anna. Yet as long as he lived, he’d always miss this land. He’d miss the Territory. He’d miss the logging. He’d miss his friends. The cypress began to pop and splinter. Jumping away, he braced his feet, threw back his head, and shouted with everything he had. “Timber-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r!” The tree wavered, then crashed to the forest floor. Noise resounded through the copse. The ground shook. Debris flew. Before any of it settled, Joe fell to his knees, doubled over, and sobbed.
Deeanne Gist (A Bride in the Bargain)
Now a strange mood took hold of me, as I walked silent and alone through the last of the pines and the cypress knees that seemed to float in the black water, the gray moss that coated everything. It was as if I traveled through the landscape with the sound of an expressive and intense aria playing in my ears. Everything was imbued with emotion, awash in it, and I was no longer a biologist but somehow the crest of a wave building and building but never crashing to shore. I saw with such new eyes the subtleties of the transition to the marsh, the salt flats. As the trail became a raised berm, dull, algae-choked lakes spread out to the right and a canal flanked it to the left. Rough channels of water meandered out in a maze through a forest of reeds on the canal side, and islands, oases of wind-contorted trees, appeared in the distance like sudden revelations. The stooped and blackened appearance of these trees was shocking against the vast and shimmering gold-brown of the reeds. The strange quality of the light upon this habitat, the stillness of it all, the sense of waiting, brought me halfway to a kind of ecstasy.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
The canopy is high, like a cathedral, and I glide through a landscape of light and shadow. Ferns cascade from the trunks amid pink lichens the size of measle spots, and the cypress knees stick up from beneath the surface like the hats of submerged gnomes. I spot a delicate "Florida butterfly" orchid, with a heart-shaped blotch at its center, clinging to a trunk.
Virginia Hartman (The Marsh Queen)
some places in North America, notably the American South, trees such as baldcypress have root systems that spend a lot of time underwater. To get around the problem of submerged roots, baldcypress trees grow “knees.” These specialized roots rise out of the ground around the main trunk. (Yet another hazard to the unwary hiker if these roots are growing right in the trail, which can happen.) Cypress knees can grow up to ten feet (three meters) tall, which is tall enough to extend above the average high-water line, and they are thought not only to stabilize the trees in their watery environment, but also to help the roots breathe by transporting oxygen from the air to the parts that are submerged, acting as a kind of snorkel—although
Peter Wohlleben (Forest Walking: Discovering the Trees and Woodlands of North America)
The horses, reluctant and excited from the first, become furious and wild. At the next shoal-personal nastiness being past consideration-we dismount, at knee-deep, to give them a moment's rest, shifting the mule's saddle to the trembling long-legged mare, and turning Mr. Brown loose, to follow as he could. After a breathing-spell we resume our splashed seats and the line of wade. Experience has taught us something, and we are more shrewd in choice of footing, the slopes around large trees being attractively high ground, until, by a stumble on a covered root, a knee is nearly crushed against a cypress trunk. Gullies now commence, cut by the rapid course of waters flowing off before north winds, in which it is good luck to escape instant drowning. Then quag again; the pony bogs; the mare, quivering and unmanageable, jumps sidelong among loose corduroy; and here are two riders standing waist-deep in mud and water between two frantic, plunging-horses, fortunately not beneath them. Nack soon extricates himself, and joins the mule, looking on terrified from behind. Fanny, delirious, believes all her legs broken and strewn about her, and falls, with a whining snort, upon her side. With incessant struggles she makes herself a mud bath, in which, with blood-shot eyes, she furiously rotates, striking, now and then, some stump, against which she rises only to fall upon the other side, or upon her back, until her powers are exhausted, and her head sinks beneath the surface. Mingled with our uppermost sympathy are thoughts of the soaked note-books, and other contents of the saddle-bags, and of the.hundred dollars that drown with her. What of dense soil there was beneath her is now stirred to porridge, and it is a dangerous exploit to approach. But, with joint hands, we length succeed in grappling her bridle, and then in hauling her nostrils above water. She revives only for a new tumult of dizzy pawing, before which we hastily retreat. At a second pause her lariat is secured, and the saddle cut adrift. For a half-hour the alternate resuscitation continues, until we are able to drag the head of the poor beast, half strangled by the rope, as well as the mud and water, toward firmer ground, where she recovers slowly her senses and her footing. Any further attempts at crossing the somewhat "wet" Neches bottoms are, of course, abandoned, and even the return to the ferry is a serious sort of joke. However, we congratulate ourselves that we are leaving, not entering the State.
Frederick Law Olmsted (A Journey through Texas: Or a Saddle-Trip on the Southwestern Frontier)
I spent a lot of time on the banks of the Suwannee growing up. Cookouts and swimming at Purvis Landing. There was a rope swing on an old cypress tree. Swing out into the dark brown water. The bank was lined with cypress knees. You learned to let go. We went fishing up near Log Landing Road. A remote area. More snakes than people. One Saturday we were joined by a boat. A new doctor in town. He raced up and down a short stretch of river. Blaring ZZ Top "Legs." The boat's wake crashed against the shore. Scared all the fish away. Changed our dinner plans. It ended with a crash. His boat raced into a log floating slowly downstream. He screamed for help over AC/DC "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution." Not help for himself. Help for his boat. It sank into the Suwannee. And the fishing improved.
Damon Thomas (More Snakes Than People: A Rural Gloom Graphic Novel)