The centerpiece of Rock Springs Plantation is this Catalpa tree. As my British friends say, I was just gobsmacked when I saw it.
There was a tour guide sitting on the back porch of the house as I circled around the tree taking pictures. I shouted out to him, “What type of tree is it?” He mumbled something that sounded like “cigar tree.” I wasn’t sure I heard him right, so I asked him to repeat it. And sure enough, he said it was a cigar tree.
Thank God for Google. A cigar tree is actually a Catalpa tree, in this case a Southern Catalpa tree. According to Wikipedia: "Catalpa is a genus of flowering plants in the trumpet vine family, Bignoniaceae, native to warm temperate regions of North America, the Caribbean, and east Asia" The fact that it is member of the trumpet vine family may account for the wonderfully contorted trunk. On the other hand, I can’t find any pictures of a Catalpa that is comparable to this one. There is a Catalpa that is growing horizontal to the ground at a golf course, but that seems to be the exception to the rule as is this one at Rock Springs Plantation.
The things you can find when you head off the beaten path.
Or when you are absolutely stubborn and refuse to admit you're wrong.