Over at SpaceTramp's blog, there is a interesting post about Dendrochronology -- the study of tree rings.
Any budding dendrochronologists out there may enjoy the work of artist Giuseppe Penone. I was entranced by his sculpture Tree of 12 Metres which is on display at the Tate Modern in London. Penone took a massive timber beam and carefully cut back along the knots and rings to reveal the original tree at an earlier stage in its growth. There isn't a picture of it on the Tate site but his sculpture Helicodial tree uses the same technique.
Penone's work is on display in the same room as the more famous The Kiss by Auguste Rodin. Rodin started with a solid block of marble and chipped away at it until the form of a man and woman in a loving embrace was created.
Both artists realized the beauty contained within these solid forms -- one a creation of his own imagination, the other a creation of the natural world.