Thursday, March 10, 2011


This ceiba tree was something of a landmark. We could readily spot it in historical photos of Gallon Jug's logging days where it served to orient us to the Gallon Jug of today. I think all of us in the Gallon Jug community were sad to find it toppled during October's Hurricane Richard.

The ceiba tree (Ceiba pentrandra) had mythological and sacred significance for the ancient Maya people. Also known as kapok, the cottony fibers from its seed pods were formerly used in flotation devices, before synthetics took over. I had been collecting the kapok fibers to stuff a pillow and was sorry that this tree wouldn't be supplying any this year. A colony of bats that lived there must have had to relocate (which they may have done in our roof, actually ...). I am sure there are dozens of birds that miss this tree as well.

Although we thought this landmark tree was history, as it turns out, some roots are still embedded in the soil. New leaves are sprouting from its branches as the inset photo shows. The Maya considered the ceiba the Tree of Life. And as these photos show, life does indeed go on.