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White Mountain National Forest
Southern New Hampshire

Saturday, October 9, 2004

While hiking in White Mountain National Forest I spy this strange configuration of bark sitting beside the hiking trail. Normally I just ignore bark because it's... bark. Basically its interest to me rates a rock-bottom zero on a scale of one to ten, yeah, it's that low. However, like everything in life, there are always exceptions to the rules.

I scratch my head as I turn this bark tube concoction back and forth in my hands. How is it possible for a tree to shed its bark in a cylindrical tube? There are no hidden cuts to reveal how it detached from the tree. The tube is utterly unbroken. I laugh when I visualize the tree stepping out of its bark, similar to a person stepping out of their underwear. Now, could it be that what I'm holding now is tree underwear? God, I hope not!

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