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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The beauty of bark

Spring is (finally!) springing out all over, but today it was the tree bark along the river trail that got my attention. The process began with "the dancers," one particularly graceful group of trees along the Muskingum River,

but soon brought out my usual admiration for the utter whiteness of mature sycamore bark.

Sycamores are not my favorite trees most of the year, given that their fluff irritates my eyes and nose and their leaves take forever to break down, but in their unveiled state, they are one of the most beautiful of all trees.

 Tree skin is even more varied than human skin, ranging from this relatively delicate version

to the delightful shagginess of dawn redwood (and don't you love it that the ancestors of this tree shared the planet with dinosaurs?)

or an old crabapple.

Young members of the genus Prunus tend to have a gorgeous shimmer

 but can get entertainingly warty at the same time.

Some bark becomes an ecosystem.

 If the presence of buds is any indication, we are soon likely all to be flower-intoxicated,

but for a few more days, it's all about the bark.

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