Cottonwood Giganticus!

While in Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, along the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma, my colleague Debby Kaspari and I came cross this gigantic cottonwood tree. I saw some big cottonwoods along the banks of streams in Arizona which far outstripped anything I had seen in Oklahoma for size, but this one takes the prize! Climbing into the tree for a photo was a nonnegotiable for me, and I was able to use a couple of small trees behind this big one as climbing aids. The tree was draped with long, lush strands of Virginia creeper, which blew dramatically in the wind. It is difficult to effectively convey in a photograph the height of this great, and undoubtedly very old, living thing.

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