oak-alley

FILED AS: #lestat likes this #lestat is all #omg I am so proud of you #even tho u are slamming me into a tree #look at you finally testing your strength!! #my son #my husband #ily SO MUCH #imma tap your beautiful head to show you how proud I am of you

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Day 7: Oak Alley Plantation, near Vacherie, Louisiana.

I took a bazillion picture of this place because it was super beautiful. All those oak trees providing shade over the walkway to the house? Wow. No wonder they called it “Oak Alley” (btw, in the Louisiana accent, it sounded like “O’ Calleigh”). I think it is what most of us have in mind when we think of what a southern plantation would look like.

The Gold Dust Wedding

From Memories of St. Martinville by Charles Larroque (1999, Pelican Publishing):

“Oak and Pine Alley was planted by the slaves of Charles Jerome Durand around 1829. The three-mile alley leading from the Bayou Teche to Durand’s house was a veritable landmark, leaving no doubt as to the social position of the property owner. Like the sugarcane he planted, Durand’s imagination knew no bounds. The plantation family was awakened each morning by servants spraying perfumed mists. After baths in scented waters, daily routines began with promenades in gold-ornamented carriages rivaling even those of Versailles.

In 1850, on the occasion of the simultaneous weddings of his two daughters, Durand’s slaves decorated the arboreal alley in a manner befitting his most eccentric nature. Prolific web-spinning spiders were brought in (some say from the nearby Atchafalaya Basin, others say from as far away as China) and were released in the trees to go about their arachnidan business. Then slaves went to their task of coating the dewy, billowing webs with gold and silver dust blown from bellows. And under this splendidly shimmering canopy proceeded the ethereal promenade of the wedding party and its two thousand guests.”

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Trees are the soul of this world. Striking their roots deep into the ground, they take in the entire wisdom of earth and whisper its mysteries in their strange leafy language. That’s why in folklore trees are often considered to have their own consciousness, to think and feel just like we do. If so, the wisest of them must be oaks. Endowed with great strength and energy, they live for centuries witnessing historical events andmemorable moments.

2

Trees are the soul of this world. Striking their roots deep into the ground, they take in the entire wisdom of earth and whisper its mysteries in their strange leafy language. That’s why in folklore trees are often considered to have their own consciousness, to think and feel just like we do. If so, the wisest of them must be oaks. Endowed with great strength and energy, they live for centuries witnessing historical events andmemorable moments.