Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shoe trees on the Mississippi and season transition

Shoe trees along the Mississippi
  When we would visit  family here while we lived in CA, Jerry would call out, "shoe tree" as we passed by this grove of trees along Interstate 90.  I never paid much attention even though that was prior to having a smart phone or tablet to distract me while he drove.  

After  living  here all these years, I seldom pay any attention to these trees now, although they are spreading from what was a solitary tree to several.  Because they are unusual  and native to our area, at least we have never seen them elsewhere on our travels, I give you these La Crescent Shoe trees.  Another phenomena is the wide diversity of shoes, heels, boots and sizes now  adorning the  limbs, what began as tennis shoes has mutated into all styles, something for everyone.    These remain all year long, through rain, wind, snow, sleet and sun.  Less visible in the spring and summer when the trees are leafed out, they are starkly there when the trees are barren.  Likely some young individuals get a kick out of contributing to the blooming. 

 While our December weather continued  to be balmy on Saturday, I stopped to snap these photos of the shoe trees.  A cousin  going along the Interstate noticed us and called later to ask if my shoe shopping was successful.  
Close up of boots, styles, shoes, notice the Nike

Likely most people unfamiliar with our area or just passing through do not notice this native species.  There is a small turnout along this grove, but then  no other place to turn along the I 90, so likely if someone saw the shoes growing, they would scratch their head and wonder what they might have just seen?  It's a part of the river road!

The very next day we did not travel the interstate because winter arrived.  People who have lived here forever need reminders of snsnow driving techniques, lest they become ditchers.  If you follow me on Facebook you know that from these wintry wonderland photos.  The first snow of the season has arrived and we are all white.  The front rose garden has transitioned to white glow,  from this

to this
with the freshness of seasons changing dramatically.  OOps  I must retrieve that apple basket   autumnal garden flag...it has been blalmy for so long that I forgot it.

Look at the miniature Alberta Spruce to the left,  resembling
a woman wrapped in cloak and arms folded infront

The front bayberry bushes from this

To this

You have the gist of it, we are white and ready to enjoy the cleanness;
we are most fortunate here in the Coulee region, our streets and
roads are always  clear and we are not bound inside.  Unless we so choose to be. 


  1. Oh boy do I ever have the gist of it, living in Minnesota I know how our roads can get-and did on Sunday! Amazing how much snow kept coming and coming and coming! I've seen a tree of shoes growing like this in St. Paul and Iowa, and also in Iowa I discovered a farm that had boots all along their fence! that was pretty amazing too!

    1. Karen, yes we had all day Sunday, lots of melt Monday and Tuesday and a bit of flurry yesterday. Interesting that shoe trees must be regional.

  2. Pasting email comment from Tom, here, he has no URL and since I have now blocked Anonymous postings due to spam traffic, he emails only

    It seems that old man Winter arrives with a bound in MN rather than creeping up on you like it does out here. Snow is beautiful but it can be deceptive too. I almost accepted a promotion to Tehachapi once, after passing through that area in winter. When I went down to check out the area the snow had melted and that ugly desert area, full of trash, was a complete turn off. I turned it down.

    Interesting "shoe" trees. Some of those shoes are way up in the small branches. Makes one wonder how they got there. Could they have been placed when the trees were much smaller? Nope, trees don't grow from the bottoms up. "Bottoms up" reminds me that it's time for another drink, coffee royal, I believe it will be. Tom

  3. lovely pics - I am envious of your garden.