This ancient tree stands as a living monument against the sky, marking a vanishing rural landscape. Trees once shaded draft stock and laborers, hot and sweaty from cultivating the rich ground.

ow they block the path of huge tractors and their multi-row cultivators. They cast dark shadows; their roots suck moisture from the ground, stunting the cash crop's growth.

his tree, next to an east-west road, remains, its winter shadow falling across harvested corn.
© D. Gorton 2001
Relic Tree, South of Cerro Gordo, Piatt County
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