“What drew me to her was not the tree itself, but the split of the land, dark versus golden, knowing that soon the land would be tilled.”
– Nancy Barthuly, inspired by Mark Hirsch of "That Tree"
This humble white oak stands tall and proud in a Pleasant Prairie farm field - just outside of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The crops on either side of her alternate annually – soybean versus field corn. Her location marks the property line. As the landscape in the area swiftly changes, development encroaching directly across the street from her, she continues to patiently watch over the fields just as she has for years. Construction and change occur all around, both industrial and residential, her neighbor trees being felled to accommodate the “progress.” Three to four working farms remain all in a row; one of them housing dairy cows. In her world - her field - nothing has changed.
It is a sad thing to see our history - our roots - slowly disappearing, and I so enjoy visiting now and then, especially on a calm summer’s night when the lightning bugs signal and bats appear to glide and dart for mosquitoes. The sunsets she bears witness to are spectacular. To her, it is just another day, another crop, another season.
This tree is special because she represents our midwest farming history. She has interested and educated me about tree species, nature, farming and wildlife; she has had her likeness hung in a gallery, and she has inspired others...all without doing a thing except ‘being’.
Species: White Oak
Size: Approximately 12' in circumference
Height: Approximately 72' high