Friday, January 30, 2009

A Closer Look At Logs

On our wet walk on Sunday, we saw many old trees, dead and down in the woods.  They were in various states of decay, on their way to becoming soil and were providing shelter and food for creatures. This pine log was reduced to  fibers.





This oak shows a similar effect.


But further down the oak offered an even more interesting glimpse into the life of trees. See the patchwork pattern in the wood?


You can see the vertical fibers but also the horizontal vascular rays that serve as veins from just under the bark to the core. These radiate from the center of the tree and serve to move water and nutrients horizontally.

It was B who noticed this and explained it to me; and now I am sharing it with you. In addition to the  main purpose of the rays, it would seem to also add strength to the wood.

And tell me that log doesn't have an eye on that far left near the middle! It's looking right at you!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I can definitely see the eye!

As it turns out, I will be in Tallahassee for part of my exam week. Unfortunately, my email decided not to save your email address, so give me a shout and I'll give you the details!