Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A natural work of art

with 10 comments

Patterns on Inner Bark of Dead Tree 0488

“Do you know who made that work of art?” asked the man who came down the path at McKinney Falls State Park when I was about to take pictures of this tree on the morning of March 1.

“Nature,” I said without hesitating, and he agreed. More specifically, my understanding is that these paths were carved out by beetles burrowing beneath the bark of the tree at a time when the tree still had its bark. What’s left could easily pass for a work of art, and it’s more appealing than many I’ve seen. But I won’t editorialize. But I just did.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2013 at 6:13 AM

10 Responses

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  1. Oui une vraie oeuvre d’art réalisée par la nature, les oiseaux, les insectes qui ont laissé leurs traces. Pour moi c’est sublime!
    bonne journée Steve.


    March 16, 2013 at 6:33 AM

  2. very nice.


    March 16, 2013 at 9:54 AM

  3. In 19th c. a German scholar recognized in old wood specimens some regular carvings which he has identified as rune inscriptions. People were trying to decipher the meanings written by these writing beetles.
    My last post collects artworks made by frost, quite accomplished sculptures.

    Andrzej Dąbrówka

    March 16, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    • That’s a good connection you’ve made to runes. I can see in your second photograph that the frost strongly suggests runes: well done.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      • Thanks, it means I’m not the only one who sees frost’s competences in runic writing; characteristic carvings on big icicles do also resemble runes; I made a post “Lodoplastyka” about such non human-made sublime carvings, please google it under “nie ręką rytych run”, it’s awful we cannot give links in comments or they are cut away as spam.

        Andrzej Dąbrówka

        March 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM

  4. I’m more a child of the modern age than I realized. I first saw the wonderful patterns as a computer chip! A second glance reminded me of cut-velvet fabric. So many associations from a single tree.


    March 19, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    • Now that you mention it, I can see the resemblance to an integrated circuit, too. The cut-velvet fabric is new to me, but I see why you were reminded of it. That’s some associative tree, all right. I’m glad I associated myself with it long enough to take pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM

  5. […] remembered that i had taken this photograph after reading this entry on the fantastic blog portraits of […]

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