I found a pine that caught my eye while touring the Japanese Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden last week. A gardener (has to be the best job in the universe!) was coming up the path, so I inquired as to what it might be. He grinned from ear to ear and thanked me for noticing such a magnificent tree, the Slash Pine, Pinus elliotti.
This is a tall coastal tree that never should be growing this far west in Texas, but here was a stand of twelve. These mature pines formed a lovely arc in the deep shade along the rim of a bowl whose sides dropped down to the koi pond twenty feet below. What caught my eye initially was their bark. I was unable to take my eyes off the large, purplish, red-brown plates, as well as the incredibly long, glossy dark green needles, as I stumbled along the path. I was so mesmerized by their textural beauty that I forgot to snap a photograph. No way could I have captured their essence with my Canon, so you can just Google and I will treasure this memorable discovery in my mind's eye.