Last week, we discovered that the huge catalpa tree in the yard of the house just north of us (which is currently vacant and owned by the community development corp. that I work for) is completely hollow inside.
So hollow that one adult and several children can fit inside it! So our kids and a lot of their neighborhood friends have been enjoying climbing in and out of the tree. To get into the tree you have to climb up to the large, northward facing branch. Here are our kids sitting in the hole that goes down into the tree:
From this hole, you lower yourself down into the hollow cavity. An adult or older kid has to help the smaller children get in and out. There is a little hole on the south side of the tree, and it is just big enough to put your face up to or stick a hand out of, either of which makes for a surreal sight!
The inside of the tree has the size and feel of a cave shaft — except, of course, being surrounding by rotting wood instead of stone. Unfortunately, I am too big to get in and out of the tree, but our friend Brent Aldrich is able to get in (though its a tight fit around his shoulders), and we handed him a camera and he was able to take the following pictures. The girl in the second picture is our friend and neighbor Harmony who is really good at getting into the tree and helping other kids to get in and out.
This tree has been an exciting find for our kids and for many others, and we will enjoy it while we can. Being so hollow, this tree does pose a threat to the house whose yard it is in, and also to a number of power and phone lines (including ours), so it will have to come down eventually.
I have posted a bunch more photos of kids exploring this tree to my facebook page, but using this link anybody should be able to view them.