Week 44: Landscape A Tree

November 2, 2016 – Over a year ago, while on a news assignment, I drove by Founder’s Park in Anaheim, and hit the brakes. The most extraordinary tree I’d ever seen canopied over the road, with giant roots crawling across the ground. When this week’s challenge Landscape A Tree,  came up, I knew exactly what tree I would photograph.

Week 44: Landscape A Tree

Some of the most famous landscapes in the world feature a tree.

Time to see what you can do

The Morton Bay Fig tree–or Ficus macrophylla–is a type of banyan tree native to Australia, best known for the crazy buttress roots running along the ground. There’s a famous one in Santa Barbara (widest in North America) and one in San Diego (tallest in North America). While this one in Anaheim doesn’t hold any records, it’s still pretty darned impressive, planted around 1876. According to some sites, this tree served as the inspiration to Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.

Talk about feeling small under the canopy. I first photographed the tree on that June day over a year ago, for a “stretch challenge,” when I tried to find interesting backdrops for the day’s stretch… this photo helps give scale to the thing, especially when you look at the buttress root behind me.

Founder’s Park has two historic homes on the property: The oldest house in Anaheim, the Mother Colony house (moved to the current location in the 1920s), and the Woelke-Stoffel House, a two-story Queen Anne built in 1894 (moved to property in the 40s). It cost the city $1.5 million in federal and state funds to build Founders’ Park–dedicated in 2011–money well spent, in my opinion. We too often tear down instead of preserve our history, and for what? Another strip mall? So thank you, Anaheim, for giving the public this taste of historic Anaheim.

Until next week’s Artistic Nostalgia (and yeah, I know I still haven’t done Landscape High)…

Later gators!


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