Leelanau ... Land Of Giants

South Manitou White Cedar - Courtesy Of The National Park Service

In 1503, when Leonardo da Vinci began painting his Mona Lisa, tiny white cedar tree seedlings were just poking above the sandy soil on South Manitou Island.

Today, in the Island's Valley of the Giants, many of these ancient trees are over 100 feet tall -  with five foot girths.

During the clear cut logging of Leelanau in the 1800's, the majestic cedars were spared from the lumberjack's saw by a freak occurrence of nature.

Windswept sand from the surrounding dunes became embedded in the bark of the trees.  

Cutting into the sand studded bark would quickly dull or ruin a pricey cross cut saw blade.

So, many of the white cedars were left alone ...

To grow,

And grow,

And grow.

In so growing, the trees have helped to stabilize the famous island dune against the prevailing winds.

Just a freak occurrence of nature?

I would rather like to think island neighbors sand and tree looking out for each other.

Only in Leelanau, ....

The Land of Delight.

See You In Leelanau Up North,

                    Visit A Leelanau Landmark:  The Valley of the Giants on South Manitou
                    Island - one of the last stands of virgin timber in all of Michigan, featuring
                    massive 500 year old white cedars - several of which have been certified
                    as National Champion Trees.  Enjoy guided day trips to the Island via
                    Manitou Island Transit, sailing out of Leland's picturesque Fishtown.



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