Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday..."R" as in REPURPOSE

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent." This week Ms. Matlock asked the class to work on the letter "R."

I was already thinking ahead to the "R" post when we went down to Galveston a couple of weeks ago for the Historic Home Tour. I had read in the Houston Chronicle about the way some of the dead trees from Hurricane Ike were being repurposed. You can read the article here.

My Dad used to have an expression. He'd say, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken _ _ _ _." (You'll have to use your imagination...we're keeping this a G rated post.) Galveston has made the best of a bad situation. Many beautiful, large Live Oak trees died when the storm surge swept across the island, but Galveston found a way to make chicken salad.

Here are pictures of the results.

A group of Herons.

This was the largest one we saw. Much of the dead tree was used in this statue.

A flock of birds were created from one of the branches.

Even the trunk was carved with little animals and reptiles around the base.

All of the upper branches were carved. I can't help but wonder how it was done. Did someone stand on a ladder? Perhaps they used scaffoling? Maybe they did it the old fashion way and climbed up the tree?

This was in front of City Hall which is located next to a Fire Station. It's a fire hydrant with running water.

You can't have a fire hydrant without a Dalmation!

This home had a guard dog.

This dog sat happily in the front yard. (The basket of pups was concrete and not carved from a dead tree.)

Isn't this a cute frog?

I wasn't quite sure why there was a Japanese lady in this yard. Perhaps the owners are of Japanese descent?

And this yard had a mermaid.

This is a pelican on a post. I could only take the picture from the street and the pelican is facing the house.

I really liked this one. It's a memorial to the trees that were lost in the storm.

Here's a close up. It says, "In Memoriam Of Galveston's Lost Oaks."

I'm not sure why these people chose the Tin Man, but he's cute.

This large porpoise was in a backyard. I didn't have the nerve to knock on the door and ask if I could go in the back to take a picture, so it's taken from the street.

They also had an owl. You can see the porpoise again on the right. Since the house was on a corner I was able to get two different angles.

This is a mermaid and some porpoises.

Isn't this a cute little porpoise?

This squirrel was carved and then placed on a stump.

I'm not sure how long these will last. They were all varnished or painted, but I would think eventually they would start to rot or termites would move in. Hopefully, they'll be around for a good number of years.

I missed our letter "Q" assignment last week (I didn't QUIT school.) and I might miss again in the next few weeks, but I'll be back and so will my doll scenes.

I hope you read this assignment carefully. There might be a TEST when we get to the letter "T."

(Nah...I'm only kidding.)


  1. The carvings are an amazing repurposing of the oaks. What incredible artists. I think the tin man is my favorite!

  2. That's an amazing post, Betty. The Memoriam is really nice.

  3. Those photos really show the ingenuity of some of the people of Galveston. Did one person carve all the trees or was it a collaborative effort? I'm looking forward to your doll scenes again because I really enjoy seeing what the darlings are up to.

  4. What an amazing way to reuse these poor dead trees. what an interesting and beautiful post!

  5. OH how lovely these all are! I'm so glad they were able to make beautiful art out of a tragic situation.

  6. Hi Betty,

    I am sure this R post is one of the best -- if not the best one to be honest!!! I so loved to see how the dead trees were repurposed. What beautiful statues -- incredible! In fact, I hope to visit Galveston one fine day to see those statues myself. So beautiful! :) Thanks for sharing -- and also for visiting my blog.


  7. Good Morning Betty!!

    OMG, I cannot even imagine the time and forethought that went into all those oak tree carvings. I would say that the people of Galveston hold onto what is precious and dear to their hearts. I would never have thought to REclaim all the trees in that manner! Whoever came up with that idea, is an artistic genious! I am with you--how on earth did they do it and how long will they last??
    We've been to Galveston a couple of times enroute to my sister's home in Navasota. (A little side trip) I loved the ambience of the downtown. We enjoyed a wonderful Mexican dinner at a local restaurant and I fell in love with all the murals!!

    My entire blog is based on your RE-claiming things that most would RE-gard as trash or unusable and make it into something worth while. Thanks for sharing with us today and for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company.

    I do hope all is going well with you and yours! Blessings for East TN!

  8. I love all the carvings. Each one is so unique.

  9. Those are so cool! I love the Dalmatian!


  10. no tests please! But those pictuers and what they have done...amazing. I loved seeing them.

  11. What an amazing project. Just goes to show that you CAN make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

  12. i'm glad they did this. thanks for sharing the pictures.

  13. those are the coolest statues - so fantastic that they reclaimed the dead wood :D

  14. What a unique idea of what to do with those trees. Those are beautiful. Thanks for showing them. I would never have known about them without you. What a great R post.

  15. What wonderful carvings and a great post. I'm jealous, I want to visit the ocean. take care

  16. Those carvings are amazing! What a genius idea for the city. Thanks for sharing this.

  17. these are remarkable...what a lovely use of the dead trees

  18. Wow amazing so creative thank you for sharing and visiting me

  19. Love your post on "Repurposed dead oaks". What wonderful works of art :o)
    It was good to see Galveston was able to make chicken salad :o) I enjoyed reading the article...I wonder how much each of these sculptures cost?

    Thanks for sharing these.
    Blessings & Aloha!
    (and thank you for stopping by :o)

  20. What a beautiful way to beautify the spaces left empty by the loss of the trees. Gorgeous post.

  21. I hope a local museum or historical society will take them in. They are too pretty to go to pot.

  22. I remember your previous post about Galveston, the homes, and the trees. This is so neat how they didn't just uproot and haul them away. They made them a remembrance and art. The carvings are amazing. Nice post. Thinking of you when your here and away.

  23. What an inspiring story and amaazing R post on repurposing these trees. Your pictures are amazing, I just love the herons, the porpoise and the mermaid, just wonderful, thank you for sharing this story

  24. What a wonderful thing to see, Betty. That is truly making ther best of a sad situation. I loved the live oak trees I saw in San Antonio, TX. We don't see trees like that here.

    I can only imagine how sad it was to lose a beautiful tree but how nice to gain a work of art!

  25. Beautiful repurposing! This is a lovely idea for Galveston.

  26. Lovely carvings! Thanks for sharing it with us. Love your post!
    First time here!
    I'm another...Betty in the blogosphere! Nice to "meet" you!
    Have a great Friday!

  27. What an amazing way to use the dead trees! Thanks for all those pictures. I like the fire hydrant the best.

  28. amazing post..
    thank you so much for sharing with us...
    mine is here
    Have you a blessed weekend!

  29. absolutely amazing...oh wait...that's using *A*.....okay...really...remarkable!

  30. this is very creative and delightful post.
    love the arts or photo images.
    Happy Day!

  31. I love to see carvings in old tree stumps. How fantastic to have made somehing so beautiful from such devestation :)

  32. I just love that Galveston repurposed their trees....They are so beautiful and I am glad they did it........

  33. I love those carvings - people take a long time to do them When I went to Alaska I saw some of these as well. I think my husband served in the service in Galveston.

    Good night.

  34. What a great way to make lemonade when life gives you lemons!

  35. Wow, such amazing carvings! Some people are Really talented aren't they?!

    Hope you have a beautiful Sunday and thanks for popping in to visit my R post!

    Best wishes,

  36. Hi Betty,
    I found you from Texas Blogging Gals. I'm from the Houston area and had to drop in for a visit.

    I loved this post! I too was at the Historial Home Tour and saw these carvings. I think they are just amazing...I sure hope that are around for a long time.

    I'm so glad that I visited your blog, I really enjoyed reading your posts! I'll be back soon!

  37. I love your Dad's saying and I love your interpretation of it with these cool carvings.

    They are all so interesting.

    I was just amazed to see so much hope and beauty emerge from such a catastrophe!

    Thanks for helping to make Alphabe-Thursday so interesting!


  38. How AWESOME! I love natural things or things made from natural things... These were really great!


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