09.07.2020 Spalted Wood as Abstract II

Yesterday I really didn’t have anything special in mind as I headed out so drove over to Quabbin Park.  It is not opening until 7 now so a sunrise there was not possible but the sky was mostly overcast so that wasn’t a problem. I thought about a few wildflowers I’ve shot there before but once I found them they were a little spent and I already have several in the archives.

Then I remembered this post from last year, a few weeks later than it is currently, and thought to visit the log again to see how things have changed. As you might imagine 49 weeks do make a difference.

The color has increased and the decay developed some nice patterning.

Spalting is caused by competition between several wood rot fungi and the lines and patterns are created when they meet. Woodworkers find the patterns attractive and especially value it for bowls and boxes. It can be in high demand and some folks will actually inoculate wood with fungal spores to encourage the decay. These examples are naturally occurred on a log the Quabbin maintenance people left after downing quite a few Red Pines-Pinus resinosa that had to be felled due to infestation by Red Pine Scale-Matsucoccus resinosae that attacks the needles.   Once the trees are weakened they are then attacked by various bark beetles that finish the job. Most just dry up and disintegrate  but this one developed into a piece of art.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Abstract, Closeup Photography, ecology, Fungi, macro photography, Nature Photography, Patterns in Nature, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 09.07.2020 Spalted Wood as Abstract II

  1. Pingback: 09.07.2020 Spalted Wood as Abstract II — Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog | THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON...

  2. Adele Brand says:

    Very interesting. Wild art at work. I had a look online at some examples of woodwork from spalted wood (including a guitar) and it is an appealing effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Littlesundog says:

    I’d never heard of spalted wood. While a tragic ending for the tree, it makes for beautiful woodland art. We have a gorgeous rotted-out section of tree trunk in our home as decor, that was discovered in a wetlands area on our property. I have collected many smaller wood items from dead and decaying trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is beauty in Nature from birth to death and the eye of the beholder decides what to appreciate. A lot of yards here feature driftwood from oceans and rivers. It’s beautiful what aging can do to trees…and some of us grow more beautiful or handsome with age too, don’t we? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. melissabluefineart says:

    It did indeed become a work of art, with a little help from you. I can see why woodworkers would value this phenomena.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres says:

    The flowing lines in the second image are especially appealing to me. It’s occurred to me I need to take a better look at some of the felled trees I find in areas where burns have taken place. I’ve always casually assumed that the black-and-brown patterns I see are a result of fire, but that may not be. Some are obviously fire related, but I may have been seeing spalted wood without realizing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure you can find spalted wood . Also you might find burls and crotches which develop wonderful figure.If you work on interiors of boats it is entirely possible that some of them have nicely figured woods.
      I actually composed the first image second. But felt I should present them in the order I liked the best with the second being my favorite of all the compositions I made. I am surprised you didn’t mention the elephant. 😀


  6. A beautiful work of art. And an education. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    So interesting, I esp. like the 2nd shot. It is like a painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann Mackay says:

    Ah, so that’s what spalted wood is! I’d seen the term on pieces made by woodworkers and wondered. It does create great patterns. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bluebrightly says:

    A friend in Germany has photographed wood decaying in a similar way that she found in a forest. I always think of hand-crafted spalted wood bowls when I hear that word but I never knew what it actually meant. Thank you, and I especially like the second photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: 01.05.2022 Spalted Wood as Art | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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