Lilliputian giants

The path is rough and narrow…

Cypress knees at White Rock Lake as seen from ground level (158_5896)

The way is hard and replete with obstacles…

Cypress knees at White Rock Lake as seen from ground level (158_5894)

Betwixt the water’s edge and my present station rests the Lilliputian giants…

A wider shot of cypress knees at White Rock Lake as seen from ground level (158_5892)

The wooden knots protruding from the ground are called cypress knees.  They are part of the root structure of bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum).

Close-up overhead shot of cypress knees at White Rock Lake (158_5899)

The trees form these knees on their roots and push them above the surface when the tree is near or in water.  There is no definitive explanation for why this happens, although it is believed they may provide some form of structural support.

A wide shot of the base of a bald cypress and the surrounding root knees at White Rock Lake (158_5887)

While I enjoyed a relaxing morning at the lake yesterday, my eye chanced upon these intriguing structures and incited more than a bit of fascination within me.  I snapped various photos from various angles.  Below is a wider shot showing the two bald cypress trees that so enchanted me; it also indicates their nearness to the shore.

Two bald cypress trees and their root knots with White Rock Lake tucked near in the background (158_5830)

2 thoughts on “Lilliputian giants”

  1. Cool! I’ve only seen knees when the tree is in a swamp, not on dry ground like this. Awesome post! Especially the beginning – I was wondering what the heck those things were!

  2. Our family farm is near Big Cypress Bayou in East Texas and is the first place I really paid attention to cypress knees. Most of those are in the water as you pointed out, but I’ve also seen a handful in that area that are like these—just at the water’s edge but not submerged. In fact, these photos show two trees that are never submerged. They certainly make for an interesting landscape.

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