I went to Galveston a few weeks ago with my mother. I wanted to walk on the beach. I was a little apprehensive about what condition the beaches would be in after Hurricane Ike. I was pleasantly surprised. I ended up on the west side of the island at one of the public beach access areas. It was a beautiful day. The beach was clean with the exception of one 4 x 6 board and a plastic sack. There were small dunes with a variety of wildflowers blooming and different types of grasses.
Most of the homes I saw were cleaned up or in the process of being worked on. It had been a while since I had been to Galveston. Things seemed different to me because the island has changed over time and because of all the damage from Hurricane Ike. I truly can’t remember the last time I was on the west side of Galveston. It may have been ten to fifteen years.
In the drive around the island I discovered a tree sculpture. It surprised me. I wasn’t sure what it was. I asked my mother to stop. I studied the sculpture. It was the remains of a large tree probably ten feet tall. The bark was gone and the wood of the trunk had been carved. There was a turtle, shells, fish, and various other sea creatures carved into the wood. The sculpture had a whimsical feeling. The wood had been finished with a warm glow.
I discovered that there are many of these tree sculptures on Galveston island. It is estimated that over 40,000 oaks died in Galveston due to the salt water from Hurricane Ike. The trees had to be removed which left many stumps. That is when the creativity began. Artists decided to turn the tree remains into art. These sculptures give a feeling of the resiliency and spirit of Galveston. The artists have given the trees a second life.
There are over 20 tree sculptures on the island with more to come. The city of Galveston has a list of all the sculptures for tourists on their website. Click here to see the list. If you would like to see some pictures of the sculptures, click here. If you are going down to Galveston, I hope you will take the time to see the beautiful works of art.