Tree Sculptures of Galveston Island

After our fantastic visit to the Houston Quilt Festival we headed down to Galveston for a breath of fresh air.  As we were driving around the town heading toward The Strand I noticed a couple of tree sculptures.  Dear hubby recalled seeing a Texas Country Reporter show highlighting tree sculptures that were carved from the oak trees that had died after Hurricane Ike in September, 2008.  The terrible winds, waves and a tidal surge of sea water killed many of the huge oak trees that lined the streets of the city.

As the residents tried to deal with the cleanup, the idea of bringing something lasting, beautiful and positive out of the awful destruction was hatched. So now Galveston has something like this:

Two Crested Herons (Dale Lewis)

Rather than:

Tree Stump

The artists who carved most of the tree sculptures are Earl Jones, Dale Lewis and Jim Phillips.  Most of the sculptures are still rooted in the earth. The City of Galveston now has a tour of the sculptures.  While I was photographing one, another car stopped to take a picture – they told us about the tour and had an extra brochure which they kindly shared with us.  You can either enjoy the self-guided tour for no cost or a guided tour.  See their website for more information.

Here are some more of these awesome sculptures – but you really must go to Galveston yourself to enjoy them!

Birds of Galveston (Dale Lewis)

The tree that became the Great Dane below had actually grown around the fence which is where the paws are now resting.

Great Dane (Dale Lewis)

Pod of Dolphins and Mermaids (Earl Jones)

This cute squirrel was in a backyard:

Squirrel with Acorn (Dale Lewis)

This guitar was carved by the homeowner:

Guitar

This is one of my favorites:

Toad (Dale Lewis)

The photo of the Geisha below also shows off some of the fantastic architecture of these old Galveston homes:

Geisha (Jim Phillips)

Angels (Dale Lewis)

Yellow Lab (Dale Lewis)

I love the whimsy of this one:

Tin Man and Toto (Jim Phillips)

A close up of Toto, too :-)

Toto (Jim Phillips)

This sculpture was in the parking lot of a cafe:

Three Pelicans and Fish (Dale Lewis)

Mermaid Holding Clam Shell (Dale Lewis)

This angel was in a back yard, but a sign on the fence invited you in to photograph, as long as you latched the gate when you left:

Angel Cradling Bunny (Jim Phillips)

Large Pelican Holding Fish (Jim Phillips)

I was on Galveston Island about three weeks after Hurricane Ike for a conference.  It was a horrible mess!  But the rebuilding had already begun and now three years later you can see that the strength and spirit of the people of Galveston has triumphed over the worst destruction that Mother Nature could throw at them!

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