Caddo Lake is the largest lake in the USA, which is situated in Texas, near Louisiana. It is a place where the largest cypress forests grow and it is protected. The area of the lake extends over a distance about 106 sq. km.
Caddo Lake is the only Texas lake formed naturally. There are some stories about the origin of the lake. One tells that at the beginning of the XIX century there was a mash of the river debris and logs on the Red River. The beavers have strengthened congestion with dams. And by 1811 a real dam was formed that created a lake Caddo.
It`s a perfect time to see the lake on the end of October and to mid-November, when trees are changing their color.
There are about 190 species of shrubs and trees grow on the lake, best known is "bald" cypress (Bald Cypress). Unlike their terrestrial relatives, these cypresses are not coniferous but deciduous trees, that shed theirs leaves in the winter. Age of cypress trees growing in Caddo Lake is nearly 100 years and more, there're even a 700-year old plants.
Cypresses often have "cypress knees" in the water – special formations, that grow from tree`s roots. Scientists still discuss the question of why trees need them. On the one side they say that it`s for an additional oxygen saturation, on the other – for helping to strengthen the roots in the ground to protect trees from the hurricanes.
There are strands of Spanish moss, green in winter and gray in summer hanging on the cypress. Moss is not a simple parasite; it is lichen, which uses the host plant just for support. The plant feeds by water and air that explains why moss is mostly green in the winter. However, Spanish moss is still hurting cypress, shrouding its branches and cutting off access to sunlight.
There is a legend of Caddo Indian tribe about Spanish moss. Once upon a time, young beautiful girl met a guy and they fell in love. Lovers made a decision to live together and go away from the trib. They lived very happily, walking along lake shores and enjoying its beauty till a woman died of illness. Distressed man buried his beloved, but cut off her hair in memory. He walked along the banks and hung dead girlfriend`s braids on the tree branches. Over time, they turned gray, but still hang on the branches of cypress trees, preserving the memory of immortal love between two people.
For those who took courses in English at least, to go to Lake Caddo by themselves will not be hard. There is the town called Uncertain on the lake banks. This city is located in three hours from Dallas; it lives exclusively at the expense of tourists which visit to see the amazing cypresses. Visiting one of the fishing bases on the coast, you can rent some bungalow and a motorboat. You can also make an excursion to the lake on a paddle steamer.
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