My wife and I stood in qui­et appre­ci­a­tion of the large trees scat­tered around us. We love trees and came here espe­cial­ly to see these. They are oaks, blue ash, and hick­o­ries, between 150–350 years old. Two state cham­pi­on trees reside here. 

The trees are majes­tic, with huge gnarly limbs and mas­sive crowns. Some show signs of dam­age; age has tak­en its toll. Before we vis­it­ed we read an account of some­one else’s vis­it here. They wrote that these trees remind­ed them of Ents, a species of beings that resem­bled trees in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, and that seemed an apt descrip­tion. These trees didn’t speak to us, but you could feel their stories.

During the time of ear­ly European set­tle­ment, this was a for­est. Some believe it could have been wood­land-savan­na where the crowns had room to stretch and space was shared with lush grass­es and thick cane­brakes. Eventually, this area became farm­land and these larg­er trees were spared the axe and saw. Perhaps the farm­ers thought they would make good shade for their live­stock, but I like to think they, too, just liked big trees. 

Today this is Griffith Woods, a Kentucky wildlife man­age­ment area between Georgetown and Cynthiana. We had the place to our­selves and took our time explor­ing on a cool, over­cast day.

You would rea­son­ably assume that I would point my cam­era toward the stand­ing trees we were so admir­ing. Instead, it was this fall­en giant, cov­ered with love­ly green moss and slow­ly decom­pos­ing to become nour­ish­ment for the next gen­er­a­tion, that pulled at me with a sto­ry to tell.

A fallen tree, covered with lovely green moss and slowly decomposing to become nourishment for the next generation
A fall­en tree in Griffith Woods (click to enlarge)

  • Wes Moody

    Wes is a retired engi­neer. He and his wife live in rur­al Clark County with their dog and cat. He is a nature and land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy enthu­si­ast, and also enjoys hik­ing and play­ing djembe.