Left, the Alamo. Right, the Alamo museum,
But the cottonwood tree meant life on the great plains in the millennia before wells and dams. If you see them at a distance, you know you won't be thirsty long. They line up along creeks and rivers. They put little white mary-poppins umbrellas/flotation devices on their seeds so their children can root downstream. I have had two close cottonwood friends. One was scared and scarred by a fire in Grand Junction, Colorado. The other one still holds a rope swing across Clear Creek, in Golden Colorado.