October 19, 2008

The Legend of Spanish Moss

Louisiana is such a unique state. There are so many beautiful places to see. The trees are so beautiful. There are hardwoods, pine, dogwoods, cypress, magnolias, and crepe myrtles just to name a few. Everywhere you go there is beautiful scenery.

If you ever travel to the waterways and bayous of Louisiana there is something coating the trees that gives the areas a mysterious and sometimes spooky look. That is Spanish moss that covers many trees in Louisiana. If you’ve never seen trees draped in Spanish moss then you need to drive to one of the area lakes or bayous and look around. It is beautiful.

In the book “Louisiana” by Allen Carpenter, he reveals an old Indian legend about the origins of Spanish moss. The legend goes that there was a sudden flood and an Indian mother had to climb a tree with her two children. They had to spend the night in the cold so the Indian mother prayed to the moon to shine on them and keep them warm. A blanket of grey moss covered them. The Indian children told their mother that the moon had torn clouds out of the sky to protect them and keep them warm. The legend is that moss has grown there since.

So when you are out in the wild, untamed bayous, lakes or rivers of the great state of Louisiana look for the Spanish moss. The beauty will amaze you.

Legend from “Louisiana” by Allen Carpenter, published by Children’s Press, Chicago. Copyright 1967.