Johnny Appleseed: And we close with this .... social distancing south of Fargo, ND, winter:And now the denouement.
Mr Vern Whitten sent that to me. What a great photo. He calls it "social distancing." Vern says he took the photo a couple of years back but it must have stuck in his mind all these years.
In that note, Mr Whitten said, after all these years, he remained curious why that single tree was there? Was there a back story?
This is what Mr Whitten found out about that lone tree:
I received a deluge of comments and questions on the tree. Here are a few:
"Is the tree alive? Do they often get hit by lightning? Was it part of a farmstead? There is a tree like that near where I grew up. Maybe his dog is buried there. I wonder how it grew to maturity without getting chopped down or killed by herbicide over-spray?
Beautiful but lonely.I decided it needed further investigation.
That is AWESOME. You made my day."
On Google Earth, May 2018, it looks very much alive and well, lat 46.738, long -96.811.
A neighbor to the north was able to connect me with the farmer.
Both these gentlemen are in their mid 80s.
The farmer has retired, but he remembers the tree very well.
It was part of an east-west row of elms, and this tree is the lone survivor. The others succumbed to Dutch Elm disease and were removed 15-20 years ago.And that was the rest of the story. I found it fascinating, imagining these farmers trying hard to save these trees, and in the end, able to save one. What a great story.
For those interested in a huge catalogue of North Dakota prints visit www.vernwhitenphotography.com.