Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Quiet Christmas Eve

We spent most of our Christmas outside as the weather was so lovely.  On Christmas Eve we took a picnic to Hampton Plantation State Park.  
After sandwiches and fruit, we went for a hike among the giant oaks that grace the front lawn of the plantation. 

The house sits on a small rise and in front of it stretches the great lawn where the Horrys used to hold horse races between the oaks on Sundays.  A fine view it must have been of the proceedings from seats on the front porch.

The house was built in the 1735, with additions in 1757 and the porch and portico in 1790.
Nearest the plantation is the Washington Oak, which has a story behind it.  In 1791, President George Washington visited the Horry family when the tree was just about to be cut down.  Eliza, mistress of the plantation, complained that the tree blocked the view and thought it should be removed.  Washington said the tree should  be spared, it was, and still stands today.


The Washington Oak is historic but it's not the most beautiful tree left on the front lawn.  Look at these!
An old tree is known as an Angel Oak when its branches become so heavy 
that they begin to grow along the ground.   I sat on this branch for awhile and soaked in the peace and tried to feel the spirit of this old behemoth.  If I closed my eyes and concentrated, I could hear the thunder of the racing horses and smell the hot sand and grass they kicked up so long ago.



A whole ecosystem grows on the branches, including resurrection ferns, moss, lichens, fungi.

I love all the textures in the old bark. 

We finished our hike before sundown and came home to a quiet Christmas Eve dinner, a movie, and some FaceTime on the iPad with my family back in Minnesota.


  1. We have been having beautiful weather, love those old trees.

  2. It is very interesting.. more than 200 years old tree!!!

  3. Those are lovely settings. We are headed south next week TN, MS, LA, AL, & FL. Should see some lovely plantations of bygone years.

  4. Cynthia, you didn't say if anyone lives in the house now - I presume they don't. What a waste of a fabulous building if they don't. But maybe it's a museum?

  5. Those trees are magic, wonderful to see such oldies.
    Seems you had a nice quiet Christmas Day - rather different from mine.
    Happy New Year to you both.

  6. It must be so different to celebrate Christmas in the warm sunshine. Seems you made the most of your new traditions. All the best for 2017

  7. It is a magical tree growing all sides. Christmas in the sun, that must be strange for you, although we had warm temperatures here too. Very unusual for this time of the year.

  8. What great old trees! Sounds like a fun day! Any day spent outside is a good day! :)

  9. We have some old trees that have branches touching the ground here in Texas. Didn't know they were called Angel Trees. Your post was very interesting...loved the Washington story. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. A beautiful place. And, a place I would love to visit.

  11. George Washington was a smart man, just look at the health of those trees. I'm glad you had a lovely Christmas in your new home.

  12. Such a beautiful house and in lovely grounds too; and the weather looks glorious as well 😊