Southwest of the old mission town of San Antonio stands a mountainous tree known as Zeus. True to his ancient heritage, the crown of this mighty specimen seems to extend high into the clouds. His trunk commands an extraordinary amount of earth, his canopy provides enough shade for a forest floor. According to the owners of the property, Zeus was dated by the Texas Forestry Service to be between 600 and 800 years old. As healthy in appearance as he is impressive, Zeus shows no sign of approaching the end of his lengthy reign. Recent arrivals to the property, the owners occupy the 160-year old stone house that flanks the tree. Visitors stop by to gawk at His Majesty and take pictures.
I sometimes hear descriptions of “giant” trees around the state and then am disappointed to discover that giant is often a relative term. I had warned my traveling companions, Craig Kotfas and Kristi Olberding, that Zeus may fall into this unwelcome category. Standing beneath the mighty oak on a frightfully cold morning, we discovered that Zeus lived up to his legendary status.
A talented photographer, Ms. Olberding was kind enough to join me in shooting the wonderous tree. Aside from getting her unique point of view, her participation was especially welcome after my camera froze up. To learn more about her unique eye on the world, click here.
In a place famed for tall tales, Zeus proves that some legends actually prove to be true.