Readers’ wildlife photos

April 13, 2020 • 8:30 am

Today we have an unusual contribution: tree bark. The photos, which are numbered, come from reader Rik Gern, who sent the indented commentary below.

Trying to heed your call for more reader’s wildlife photos, but I hope these aren’t too far afield from what you’re looking for. I have others I can send once I figure out the Latin names, but this was easy since it’s the bark from a pecan tree.

There is an old dead pecan tree (Carya illinoinensis) in my back yard that has been cut down piece by piece until all that remains is a slowly rotting trunk. As it ages the bark seems to gradually loosen from the trunk. It’s intriguing how the texture seems to change with the light and varying humidity conditions. I took these pictures on a day when there was a slight drizzle in the air and one side of the trunk was dry and lighter in color, but the other side was getting wet, thereby bringing out more highlights and contrasts. These are basically just texture pictures; some of them look like rock formations (1-4) and some even kind of look like bone (7-8). Of course, if you look at anything long enough you can see a face (9) and if you keep contemplating it the imagination picks up where the senses leave off (10)!












25 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. #3 looks very much like wedge-shaped rock fragments in situ on a rock face where there is expansion towards the surface. Such features are found in some pure limestones on cave walls in West Virginia and Kentucky and at some large undercut cliffs.

  2. These are an exceptional example of micro-landscapes. I have spent many hours enjoying the discovery of micro-landscapes. Lately, my knees have begged me to finally stop with the crawling around in the bushes, so I don’t much anymore. Thanks Rik.

      1. Thanks. True but I worked for over 5 years in a customer service center so I looked like this, at least the head gear, at one time. It was long enough ago that we looked up accounts on microfiche (oy!). I’m guessing that wouldn’t even register as a thing with many young people.

              1. We stored programs we had written on paper tape, which the terminals could output, but data that needed to be input had to be marked on cards so that the data technicians could e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y punch it onto different cards that could be fed into the mainframe via the card reader. Hours later, you’d get the output – on those old stripey green perforated sheets from the printer – and realised you had made an idiotic mistake. Then you were at the back of the queue and had a long wait before finding yet another bug…!

              2. Yup😖 one misplaced comma and you’d lose several hours. One became a VERY disciplined proof-reader, not to mention making sure one’s program “worked”.

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