If you grow up with the woods of the American east coast, Beech tree (Fagus grandifolia) is part of your memories. I remember a huge example that I used to sit under in front of Cornell’s Baker Laboratory, having lunch with my friends Jan and Wendy in graduate school. And then there was one where my son went to high school, which was a perfect background for portraits. The one in Figure 1 is at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Needless-to-say what attracted me was the stumps of ancient branches. And when I worked the image up I was pleased to find the “Z” carved in the lower left. Zorro? These are, of course, violations and vandalism. But in another sense they indicate a vain attempted at immortality, made all the more poignant by the fact that no one remembers who scarred their mark into the tree’s trunk.
Canon T2i with EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens at 70 mm, ISO 1600, Aperture Priority AE Mode, 1/250th sec at f/7.1 with no exposure compensation.