"The burst of life that took centuries to build, revealed in an old tree trunk's cross section. At its center, material memories of the sapling that this tree once was. Year after it grew by accretion, adding successive layers of the interplay of xylem and phloem, water in and water out, sap traveling up and down, transporting complexities under the corky protection of callous bark. If we could read the code of this great being, we would hear tales of drought summers or deep winter snows melting into spring overflow. The history of a life much longer than any human's tells its tale in concentric rings."
Visions of Earth: National Geographic Photographs of Beauty, Majesty, and Wonder - National Geographic Society

Susan Tyler Hitchcock