Greetings, Tree of Nightmares

Straight outta one of your favorite horror movies.

For several months on my way to the South Cooper Y after driving my daughter Lindsay to school in Fort Worth, I’ve driven past this dead shell of a tree. It stands, beautifully spookily, in a large empty lot next to a shopping center across from Red Kane Park near the Arlington-Mansfield line. I’ve never seen a tree so sublimely haunting, branching out with its terror-inducing tendrils toward unsuspecting motorists. I’m quite sure I’m not the only person who’s driven by and stared, marveling at its sinister perfection.

I’ve been thinking I should stop, park, get a closer look and take some photos. So this morning after leaving the Y, I parked in the lot near the tree and walked about 75 yards to where it looms, even larger than it appears from the road. As I walked, I startled when a shape on the ground caught my eye – a dead and bloodied possum. When I looked up, I saw a turkey vulture just ahead, loitering on the ground (I probably interrupted his possum feast). Within moments, he flew up into the tree, joining a vulture buddy who was already there. All too perfect. I snapped a few shots, then noticed through my phone screen that a white sun had started peeking through the overcast sky. Even more perfect.

Glad I stopped by. See you next time, Tree of Nightmares.

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