Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Audubon Park

A little lunch break to show off New Orleans' Audubon Park, which I've always thought is the prettiest example of municipal recreational landscaping in the world (with perhaps some competition from Buttes Chaumont in Paris). It was, I believe, developed for the 1884 World's Fair or World Cotton Centennial, oh yes sir. It boasts swampy ponds traversed by stone bridges and stoic swans, islands now occupied by sunbathing turtles but previously inhabited by escaped zoo monkeys (true!), and grassy avenues flanked by hundred year old live oak trees that stretch their branches to the ground.

To clarify, the "live" oak is distinguishable from the ordinary oak tree in that its gnarled and weathered limbs have been smoothed and polished by children's bottoms sliding down them. The smoother the branches, the more aged, loved, and lived ("live") the tree. To clarify further, there may be some botanical explanation for the nomenclature that I don't really care to search for. But then, since this is New Orleans, probably not.

And thanks, Caroline, for taking the picture of me with my oldest (tree) friend in the world!

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