Ghost ranches, buried old cars, coyote packs, a former free range Ankole Watusi bull, The Holler is definitely an odd place, which is why we fit in so well!
Take this thorny tree for example. It is a Silk Floss tree and is about 50 feet tall.
This time of year it is covered in plate sized cotton poofs.
The poofs develop from large seed pods.
In the fall, the tree drops its leaves and devotes all its energy to producing masses of beautiful blooms.
The Holler abuts a large nature preserve and is built on very old orchards. Back in the day, orchard workers lived on site and indulged in their love of exotic plants and trees, many of which are still thriving and producing today.
I often wish I could tell them how much we appreciate living with the beautiful results of their talent and effort.
Cheers to you from the very odd Holler~
237 thoughts on “Holler Oddities~”
Just the Holler’s location next to all that protected land makes it a wonderful place, and trees like this make it all the more wonderful. Do the orchards still produce any exotic fruit?
Yes. We have all sorts of producing plants that are very old, from the actual orchards (avocados, lemons, grapefruits and pomegranates) to the exotics, all sorts of nuts, passion fruit and flowers, palms, camellias, wild roses, coral trees, grapes that are wild now, all kinds of exotic cacti, even old watermelons that reseed and sow. I should make a list. I don’t know all that grows here. We have beautiful white flowering trees and I don’t know what they are. It took me almost a decade to identify the soap plants and flowers that grow all over here in the spring. You can make soap from the plant დ
The plate sized cotton poofs are quite amazing. I have never seen those before – they do not look real. Thank you for sharing.
They look like big balls of cotton puffs, that you could pluck and use. They grow way to high for me to test this though! 😉
Incredible! I am familiar with cotton, given that the crop is one of Arizona’s five C’s (climate, cotton, citrus, cattle, and copper), but I have never seen puffs of cotton imposters like those in your photo. 😁
They look like something you would put on your vanity in a pretty bowl, cotton puffs to pick! Take good care Michele დ
Love that! You too. Thank you.
Wow, cool tree! I see that it is related to kapok, a wonderful natural and durable stuffing for pillows (they used kapok for life preservers before synthetics were developed). Of course, with all those thorns and being so high up, harvesting would be problematic!
Yes, remarkable isn’t it. The fiber is “hydrophobic,” floats and is water resistant. დ
A beautiful and unusual tree, Cindy! I have never heard of it. Thank you for the introduction! Does anyone spin thread from the cotton-like fiber?
Good question. I know that the cottony fibers have many uses, but I don’t know if it can be spun into thread. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will see this and tell us დ
Wild looks it does look like cotton batting…amazing flora Cindy ~ happy weekending ☺️💫 smiles hedy
Happy weekending flying back to you Hedy & cheers my friend დ
Very odd indeed. I’ve never seen or imagined such a tree! Did people ever use the cotton poofs for anything?
It is used for pillow stuffing, insulation in cold weather clothing, and life preservers, because it floats and is water resistant! Odder and odder, I know….. How did we live all our lives Liz, without knowing this!!! 😉 😉
I thought there had to be some utility there! 🙂
You lucky thing! Wonderful!
Thank you Bruce. The Holler is a good place to be in a pandemic, lots of plants and critters, and very few people დ
I’m in a similar situation (although not in lock down!) with the landlord’s and neighbours farms coming to a thousand acres or so with glades and lakes and lots of birds!
It sounds heavenly to me დ
Those are beautiful! We have similar, not as fancy trees that do that — cottonwood trees. I seldom see the trees doing the cotton, but for weeks in the spring, the cotton snows through the air. Thank you for sharing your odd holler!
You are most welcome Joey. I have seen cottonwood trees. They have sort of more flowy, amorphous, wispy, angel-hair like cotton. Very pretty and delicate looking. დ
Maybe I should look for the source 🙂
I have never seen anything like this. Like gigantic cotton balls hanging in the trees. I just learned something. Thank you.
You are most welcome. I had no idea what they were either. They are still plants and trees I can’t identify at The Holler. It took me about a decade to find out what soap plants were. They cover The Holler in the spring დ
This was a nice pleasant read thank you. Never seen one of those trees
Very pleased you enjoyed & thank you for letting me know დ
My pleasure. Everyone like to hear a job well done
Like the Signers of the Declaration of Independence all lost their wigs in a tree. “Thomas! Get down from there.”
Cracking up…..Definitely could have happened!! Or maybe British jurists lost their wigs in a stiff breeze and they blew over here. I heard of a bald eagle once who blew all the way to Britain in a storm. He was sent back to the states in first class on an airline. I bet he didn’t enjoy either flight… 😉
There is much to discover in this mysterious world. No need to go toMars. Thankyou for so often finding hidden treasures!
Ahhh, you are most welcome Dor. Hope you and your family are all doing well დ
Cindy, thank you so much for these beautiful and unusual photographs!
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Here are beautiful and unusual photographs from Cindy Knoke!
You are so welcome Charles. Thank you for being you! I hope you are staying safe and well my friend დ
Wow! That is an incredible plant that I’ve never seen or heard of before. Is there anything edible inside the pods?
I don’t think any part of the tree is edible, although the bark floats and was used for canoes and paper. The cotton was used for insulation. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the spines were used too… დ
What a strange tree! I noticed that its thorny branches is a warning to keep one’s distance.
Yes, the spines are continuous on the trunks and branches and definitely daunting. დ
I have never heard of this tree before. Those big cotton balls are amazing! How great that all these plants and trees are there. Do you do much harvesting in the original orchards?
Yes, we harvest old growth grapefruit, lemons, avocados, pomegranates, oranges, almonds, even watermelon. We used to harvest passion fruit. There are edible grapes, but I have never eaten them. Many of the trees are self sustaining დ
What a glorious bounty!
I’ve never heard of it either! This is really an amazing tree. Thanks for sharing this with us.
I am so glad you found it interesting and thank you for letting me know დ
I have never seen such in person. Very cool
Happy you enjoyed and thank you! დ
I love your Holler! So many treasures and brilliant oddities!
Awww, thank you Rebecca. I tend to distrust normal. Odd is a comfortable fit! 😉 😉
I love coming across plants I had no prior knowledge of – most of my questions have been answered in the comments, so I am left saying think you for another adventure from your Holler.
So happy you came over for a visit Anne and thank you my friend დ
Truly amazing tree
It is really big too. At least 50 feet დ
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
Oddities of the Holler.
You are a kind and thoughtful friend Patricia. You are most appreciated. Stay safe and well დ
Incredible tree! I have never seen anything like it!
Wouldn’t it be fun to do an odd tree post, and have people from all over the world submit their examples… I bet we would see some amazing oddities! 😉
I am not sure I could compete with this one!!
If I ran it, there would be no competition just entries….. I don’t like creating winners and losers. დ
What a lovely idea!
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Thank you thoughtful friend დდ
They look like puffs of cotton. How cool!
Thanks much and I think they are cool too! დ
Liebe Cindy, wieder sehr schön, alles Gute wünsche ich dir, Klaus
Danke lieber Freund. Bleib sicher, gut und warm! დ
Sounds like my kind of place:)
Then, you are my kinda person! 🙂 დ
Our hollows in West Virginia were settled by small homesteading farms. Many had fruit trees near the homes. Most of the old homes became abandoned, deteriorated and decayed back to earth. But, if you drive around in the Spring, you can find old apple trees here and there suggesting where past generations lived.
Are any of the old trees still producing? They are at The Holler. დ
Can’t say I have gone back in harvest season to check on the crop. The apples are much easier to spot when they are in bloom.
I’ve never seen a plant anything like that. Very cool.
So happy to make the introduction & pleased you enjoyed. Cheers my friend დ
The cotton poofs look amazing like some fairy land.❤
Yes, they would look right at home in fairy land! დ
Those trees with silk floss look awesome. Thank you Cindy. 🙂
Thank you for your always kind appreciation my friend დ
Cindy how fragrant are they? both with the big poofs or just the flowers?
There is a faint fragrance, but no strong scent that I can detect დ
What an unusual tree! I had never heard of this tree and was fascinated to see its pod, the floss and the beautiful flowers. Thanks for sharing this!
I am so happy you were interested, and appreciate you letting me know! დ
A work of art of nature!
Mother Nature is the planet’s best artist by far! დ
That’s the prettiest tree I’ve ever seen!
It is truly gorgeous when in full bloom! დ
Another example of nature’s mysterious ways< Cindy! How much we could learn by focusing on the essential things in life.
I think we would be much happier too! დ
Probably all of us – wherever we live – pass by something odd. The oddity is the natural. Or perhaps we never even look.
Your posts always make us be more observant of what is around us.
Will be looking for odd things. (bypassing the mirror)
Smiling…. Yes I avoid the oddities presented to me by the mirror as well!!! I am so happy you are being more observant. It definitely makes life more enjoyable and interesting. Thank you and take good care my friend დ
Love those oddities and you had fun with the camera. Wonderful shots. A bit of vicarious living for us through your pictures Cindy, Thanks
So happy you enjoyed our very odd abode Gary & thank you for taking a look around! დ
Very interesting. The poofs look very fibrous. I wonder if they could be used to make cloth or rope? The flower is so pretty.
I know they use the cotton to make stuffing in pillows and things, for insulation in clothes, and for life preservers since the fibers are water resistant and float. They use the bard to make canoes and paper. დ
Reblogged this on Ed;s Site..
I am touched by your thoughtfulness Ed. Thank you my friend & be well დ
I love these photos. I’ve never seen anything like this cotton poofs so wow. The closest we have are little dandelions gone to seed!
Dandelions are similar in shape and purpose, in that hold carry seeds for dissemination. დ
How interesting, great pictures!
Thanks much & happy you enjoyed! Cheers to you my friend დ
The tree looks very strange and I could mistakenly think the wooly balls are parasites not knowing they are not parts of the tree.
Like witches hair which is a parasite. These are actually seed balls that will scatter in the wind. Take good care my friend & thanks for stopping by! დ
I love your images and post! I had no idea about these trees. Nature is such a miracle, isn’t it? The fact that these “puffs” float, are water resistant, etc., reinforces the truth that nature really can take of life needs, if we will only care for nature with reverence… and harmonize our needs 😊. Hmmm, probably the original plan once upon a time….lol!
“Hmmm, probably the original plan once upon a time…” Exactly. Why don’t more people see and know this! So grateful that you do Liza and thank you დ
Incredible. Your photographs are wonderful and that, is the most amazing tree.
You are a lovely friend Gigi დ
The things I would never know or see if you weren’t teaching me Cindy. Thank you!
I was well versed in completely useless information!;)
Ah…..but interesting! And fascinating!
You are kind დდ
Those balls almost look like they could be spun into thread?
Someone asked me about this and I don’t know the answer. I do know it was used for insulation, stuffing and life preservers because it floats and is water resistant. Stay safe and well Leslie დ
Never heard of a Silk Floss Tree before, dear Cindy! Thank you for showing this amazing creation of mother nature!
You are most welcome Martha. I didn’t know what it was at first either. Take good care my friend and you stay safe too დ
Thanks for the freaky fun Cindy! I love the puff balls, exotic plants, and trees. How wonderful that you can enjoy the fruits of their love from long ago. I want to see photos of the cars, ghosts, and bull! 🙂
You are most welcome Brad and I am happy you enjoyed the oddities. I did posts on all of these strange things. If you google my name along with the subject (aka cindy knoke ankole watusi) you should be able to see the posts if you wish. Good luck & cheers to you my friend დ
Thanks for the tips. I’ll explore them!
Very interesting post Cindy! Thanks for allowing us some insights to ‘The Holler.’
How wonderful to hear from you Wally! Happy you enjoyed and hope all is going well with you my friend დ
Simply extraordinary! Thanks for showing, Cindy.
Fabulous post, Cindy! That tree is fantastic!
Not the Art Gown I’m working on now, but the one after is inspired by the cottonwood tree. Seems to be a similarity.
I can’t wait to see both!! დ
Wow I’ve never seen a tree like this, great photos too Cindy xx
Thank you Charlotte. I think William said it best, ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’ Stay safe & well my friend დ
Your captures are hauntingly beautiful, there is definitely treasures in the Holler…thank you for sharing them!
Thank you more for such a kind and thoughtful comment and cheers to you! დ
Really neat. Thanks for teaching me something new.
Thank you much more for appreciating the opportunity Lori & cheers to you დ
I’ve never seen anything like those white poufy things, Cindy — thanks for educating me today!
Somebody called it a Plate Sized Poof Tree! I think this should definitely become its official name! 😉
The lone bull? He has enoughgrass to eat, guess so it’s been there a long time. Love seeing the silf floss, it look like cotton which we get plenty of in Texas.
Oh yes, there is enough grass here to feed the herd and the cotton poof tree does look just like cotton! Happy to hear Texas is warming up and hope you are doing well დ
Cool plate-sized poof tree.
Laughing…..I like your name!!! დ
Love that Silk Floss tree
So glad you do. It is an awesome presence დ
You live in a magic kingdom, Cindy. I’ve never seen a tree like that, but I hope to one day. Your photos are stunning.
Awww, I love my kind blogging friends like you!! Thank you and be safe დდ
Amazing – reminds me of cotton fields in the South – only very high in the air!! Thanks, Cindy, as always, for the wonderful images and stories.
Somebody called it, “High Cotton,” which I think is a very apt name დ
I love that.
What oddball stuff you have there in the Holler !!! xo
We fit in like a glove!!! 😉 Stay safe and well cuz დ
That would be a good, concise name for the tree! დ
Was für eine seltsame Frucht, die so wundervolle Blüten macht und dann diese riesigen Baumwolle Knäuel macht! Liebe Freundin Cindy, vielen herzlichen Dank für den schönen Bericht.
Ja, es ist ein sehr seltsamer Baum. Es gilt als einer der schönsten Bäume der Welt, wenn es blüht. Es ist mit großen schönen Blüten bedeckt! Ich hoffe du bleibst sicher und gut mein Freund. დ
Ahh..I didn’t know cotton candy floss grew on trees. ٩(๑∂▿∂๑)۶♡
You have to climb 60 feet over all those thorns to get it though!!! 😉 დ
Who knew there were such beauties in The Holler!
The Holler is full of all sorts of surprises! დ
Anch’io come altri commentatori ho pensato al cotone, solo che quest’ultimo si sviluppa basso,
Gan belle immagini, complimenti.
No Gan ma Gran 😉
Grazie mille. Il cotone cresce a 60 piedi da terra! დ
What an amazing tree! I have never heard of it, and it’s hard to believe those cotton poofs really grow on it. I looked up the Ankole Watusi bull, and I thought I had seen big Long Horns when we lived in Texas, but nothing like those bulls. How in the world do they hold their heads up? You do indeed have some oddities in the Holler!
We are well oddities in a very odd place!! 😉 😉 დ
Wow, those are amazing! The puffs look hand-crafted. Are they soft like cotton?
They are cotton like, but sort of wispy and they have seeds დ
Wow! Those fluffy balls are amazing. I’ve photographed this tree in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, but I’ve never walked past it when it has the seed pods or balls of fluff on it. I seem to remember the tree was about 20-25 foot high and when in bloom, a sight to behold.
It had (literally) hundreds of flowers.
Yes, they bloom in the fall here and are often considered one of the world’s most beautiful trees, for good reason! დ
Beautiful 💕Thank you Cindy 😎
You are most welcome Val & cheers my friend დ
Wild parrots love those things.
I would love to see this!!! დ
Thanks for this great post 🙂
I will be on the lookout for this Silk Floss tree for eternity! Beautiful
You are most welcome! Let me know when you two finally meet დ
I have never seen anything like those cotton balls and I watch a Holler mountain man in the TV show, Mountain Men.
Pleased to have been able to make the introduction & cheers to you Jacqui დ
Do birds use the cotton wool for their nests?
I don’t know. But it is such an original and logical question, that I would guess they do! დ
Wow that tree is so kewl! Looks like giant cotton balls
Yes, and they are growing out of human reach! დ
Wow amazing pictures, so beautiful, great capture Cindy! 🙂
Happy you enjoyed & thank you! დ
Love those trees – so cool anytime of year! I saw the first one at Disney’s Epcot. Neat.
How wonderful! I have never been there დ
What a wonderful tree! Must be really neat to live by protected land!
It is very wild, no people, just wild life, mostly coyote packs and rattlesnakes!!! დ
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Oh my! We have coyotes around here, and they don’t bother me much. (But we keep cats indoors.) However, about those snakes…. 😉
Snakes want to avoid you, so the trick is to not step on them! დ
What a cool tree! I’ve never seen this before.
It is a definite Dr. Seuss tree!! 😉
I’ve never seen a pouf/poof like this. I would love the Holler, because after all, we’re all part of a Holler, every odd and original part of us. xo
We are indeed, just like this pouf that goes poof in the breeze!! Thank you and cheers to you დ
Beautiful pictures. Treat to eyes and nice capture.
Honored by your kindness. Thank you Sowjanya & be well დ
Definitely extraordinary! I am always getting surprised by your postings. 😉 Thank you, Cindy!
So kind of you and so appreciated. Thank you! You make me happy I posted დ
You did before, Cindy! Its always a great pleasure! Michael
Wow. So gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of the pine cones on Mt Diablo, big as my head. The only place in the country with such outsized pine cones. Rare and beautiful things are everywhere.
Rare and beautiful things are everywhere, just waiting for someone to find them! Be well my friend დ
And you, too. I imagine the Holler is at its best in the spring.
Yes. It is just starting, and for the first time, I am home, from start to finish. Love to you Brenda დ
Some blessings from the quarantine. 🙂
We went out to dinner tonight. First time in over a year! There were women chatting in the bathroom who weren’t wearing masks and wouldn’t leave. Oh well…… baby steps. დ
I am sad that they were not taking care of themselves and you. We still need to be taking care of each other. I haven’t eaten out in SO LONG! I have tried new recipes, though. Almost the same thing, but not quite. 🙂
Yes. Cooking creatively daily for a year has actually been a lot of fun.
I’m so grateful that the food distribution network didn’t fail us.
True. It was quite dicey for the first few months.
Just love seeing your Holler and all it’s amazing species.
Awwww, you are so kind and most appreciated! დდ
Awww, much appreciated & thanks so much! დ
The silk floss looks so amazing!!
Everything about it is interesting, including it’s trunk which is green and carries out photosynthesis for the tree when the leaves have fallen. დ
Amazing. You know the details.
You are very welcome დ
This looks like “kapok”. Lemme see the English name. Yeah. kapok. In Africa we also called it “fromager”. In South America it’s “ceiba”. Do you get those all the way “up north”? (of here?)
It is a Kapok. Native to Brazil and Argentina. They are not native here, but thrive beautifully დ
I’ve seen huge ones in Africa. And on the Amazon. Giants of trees. Second probably only to the sequoias… Glad they thrive in your neck of the woods.
I am too. I love them დ
What an amazing place!
Thank you Vinny. It is definitely different! დ
sommerliche Grüße kommen von mir zu dir, Klaus
Sommergrüße mein Freund und danke, dass Sie so nachdenklich und rücksichtsvoll sind. Bleib sicher und gesund დდ
Very nice captures, Cindy ~ have a great weekend 😊 💛
Thank you Phil & cheers to you my friend დ
Cheers Cindy 😊