Golden Isles 2017 Visitor Guide Page 27 Parks & Recreation

GoldenIsles.com 27 I f you look closely at certain majestic oak trees that cover St. Simons Island, it's possible to find one gazing back at you. Either peering out from the trunk or from the stub of a long-vanished branch, you may see the unmistakable image of a weathered face. In 1982, local sculptor Keith Jennings carved his first Tree Spirit with hand tools in a backyard tree. Jennings uses gouges and a mallet to shape haunting, often contemplative features from knots in trees or arching branches. He creates Tree Spirits by hand in two to four days. Legend promotes that these faces represent sailors lost at sea. "Not so," says Jennings. He works with each tree's soul. "The trees do it all," Jennings said. "I don't have that much to do with it. The wood speaks to you." There are 20 Tree Spirits commissioned on St. Simons Island. Seven are in public areas in the Pier Village, Redfern Village and on Frederica Road. The others are on private property. Visitors and residents alike enjoy searching for these inspirational Tree Spirits. Many families like to make it an activity, or scavenger hunt with kids. Happy hunting! To view photos of Keith Jennings' Tree Spirits, visit goldenisles.com. View the Mermaid Tree Spirit and pick up a map of the other tree spirit locations at the Golden Isles Welcome Center on St. Simons Island

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