23 Oct 12. While we were in the process of reducing our logs into splits of a size that we could chop for firewood, I had a chance to look closely at the butt ends of many of them prior to applying the chain saw. What I saw was far more than rings of growth, although to be certain, they were clearly there. But I also saw patterns, colors, shape, and design. The dripping pitch could be seen as rain falling on the tree or perhaps as the tree crying tears that were falling down across its surface. Perhaps the red color was anger at having been cut down, or signs of the fever that caused its decay and ultimate death. The cracks being signs of aging like our wrinkles or merely indications of sever periods of stress. All of these are things that we seldom see as we toss our firewood into our fire places or wood burning stoves, but things that are present on every log. Next time you are out in the woods and find a fallen tree, or perhaps cutting down your own tree for firewood, or tossing out your next Christmas tree with sawed off butt, take a moment to get a good close look at that cut end to see what you might observe there. You might be really surprised. Nikon D300s; Aperture Priority; 18 - 200; ISO 200; 1/60 sec @ f / 5.6 with fill flash.