Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Catalpa tree on Monmouth's Grounds

As you approach Monmouth and view the lush grounds of greenery and trees, you first notice the beautiful live oak trees that are magnificent and huge. Beautiful moss hangs in branches and it is always an attraction for everyone to see the variety of trees standing for years.

My favorite tree, I chose without knowing its name or story is the CATALPA TREE. For the past four seasons I have photographed the tree in its different shapes of foliage and rather bare winter branches. Today in the spring the Catalpa tree is in bloom and the white flowers fill the huge tree and all its branches. It is described as having large heart shaped leaves and showy white and yellow flowers. In the autumn long fruits which resemble a slender bean pod and small flat seeds will fall and begin to reproduce.

The most interesting thing about this tree is the fact that the tree is the food plant of the Catalpa Sphinx moth and the leaves are eaten by the caterpillars. The caterpillars are an excellent live bait for fishing- and Natchez and surrounding areas are a fisherman's paradise. Some dedicated anglers plant catalpa mini-orchards for their own private source of "catalpa-worms."

For fishermen, this area surrounding Natchez has lakes filled with catfish, bass, bream, sun perch, alligator gar, and white perch - this is just a small selection of fish in the area.
-Peggy Voss

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