Notice all of those “knees” sticking up all around the base of the Cypress trees. Our Thanksgiving trip to Caddo Lake was loaded with new and rather exotic things to see. I have never heard of Cypress Knees until this trip. Since this is bayou country, the swamps proved to be fascinating. I took this image right beside an inlet of the lake. The definition of Cypress Knees is below. I found it on Wikipedia:
A cypress knee is a term used in the biology of trees to describe the distinctive structures forming above the roots of a cypress tree. Their function is unknown, but they are generally seen on trees grown in swamps. Some scientists have thought they may help in oxygenation to the tree’s roots or assist in anchoring the tree in the soft, muddy soil.
Knees are woody projections sent above the normal water level, roughly vertically from the roots, with a near-right-angle bend taking them vertically upward through water so at least part of the protrusion will be exposed at low tide.
Another more likely function is that of structural buttressed support and stabilization. Lowland or swamp-grown cypresses found in flooded or flood-prone areas tend to be buttressed and “kneed,” as opposed to cypresses grown on higher ground, which may grow with very little taper.