Onzan tree, Vera Plaines

Years ago, newly arrived in Gabon, I rode my bicycle to this trailhead and wandered through a most amazing landscape until waylaid by a torrential rainstorm. I sought refuge under this tree for what seemed like hours as the rains flooded the trail below.

Onzan tree, Odyendyea gabonensis, along a forest trail in Vera Plaines.

The oppressive atmosphere, thick with humidity and sweltering heat was transformed as the storm passed. A refreshed breeze danced beneath columns of rising steam. Birds high above filled the forest with melody, with crickets in chorus below. Today, when I see this tree, I think of that day from the past, and I feel like I am back in the company of a good friend.

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