Many years back I sometimes hired myself out for various photographic jobs, and one of them was for the museum. They had an ancient parchment map delineating the borders during an unknown period in European history, and wanted some detailed photos of it so they could make measurements without chancing damage to the fragile original.
I’m lying again – the real story is almost as interesting, though. This is the bark of a tree, and the entire photo spans about the length of your hand if I remember right (I’m not sure I’m accurately recalling how long your hand is.) The colors and lines seen here are perfectly natural, but I couldn’t tell you if they were ‘normal’ for this kind of tree or if this is evidence of some kind of fungal infection, or parasite activity, or what, really. I’m almost certain I had photographed the exact same tree a few years before, but wanted to redo the shot with greater depth of field, and eventually happened across it again; this seems to tell me it’s not a common trait, at least. This is from 2001, and from the trails alongside Falls Lake.
If you can enlighten me about this at all, feel free. Meanwhile, come spring I may check out those trails again and see if I don’t run across the same kind of thing. In sixteen or more years, the tree may be radically different now, if it’s there at all. I’ll try not to leave you hanging.