Friday, August 11, 2006

Tree sprouts a fountain

Let's say you have a tree in your yard. And let's say that one day it starts leaking water from the trunk. You would most likely be puzzled, but would you take a drink?

Lucille Pope did. And still does.

From Vincent T. Davis's story in the Express-News:

The knotted, towering tree, more than 100 years old, has become the root of scrutiny in her East Side neighborhood. The tree has gurgled water from its trunk for the past three months.

Pope, 65, has sought answers from several specialists, calling experts from the Texas Forest Service, the Edwards Aquifer Authority and nurseries for an explanation. ...

The odd occurrence started in early April when her son, Lloyd Pope, noticed bark smeared with sap when he went to fill his the water trough of his stepson's dog Neno. After moving the Rottweiler's tray, he saw a wide stain that ran from the root up toward the branches, with fluid dripping to the ground from above.

Days later, he saw water streaming onto the ground from the other side, and he showed his mother the sight.

Lloyd Pope, 47, said the water was cool, like it came from a faucet. The only damp spot around the tree trunk is where the water lands.

So far, no one has an explanation as to why a fountain has sprung from Ms. Pope's tree, and tests are still being done on the quality of water produced. Yet, oddly enough, Ms. Pope and her son have seen fit to start drinking the water.

After [hydrologist George] Rice and [executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance Annalisa] Peace left with their sample of water, Lloyd Pope continued to sit on the hood of the Cadillac, pressing the mouth of the nearly filled jug to the spout of water, just as he does every other day. Then he put the collected water, which he said is better than faucet water, in the icebox.

His mother cupped her hands to the tree, drinking the pooled water spilling over her fingers.

Strange, indeed.

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