Nature and imagination.

This piece from a tree trunk with a face ‘imprinted’ in its growth rings was brought into the Daily Times newspaper in Maryville, Tennessee on July 7 by a groundskeeper at the local Magnolia Cemetery, who found what he believes to be a representation of Queen Elizabeth II of England when cutting up the tree after a storm.

Image of Jesus Christ found in a tree by a Pennsylvanian furniture maker in February 2008. It has also been suggested that it resembles Gandalf, Merlin and a cloaked surfer.

Robert Plot, figured stone, from The Natural History of Oxfordshire (1676).

Roger Caillois, skull-stone no. 11, from The Writing of Stones (1970).

The vision the eye records is always impoverished and uncertain. Imagination fills it out with the treasures of memory and knowledge, with all that is put at its disposal by experience, culture, and history, not to mention what the imagination itself may invent or dream. So the imagination is never at a loss when it comes to making something rich and compelling out of a subject that might almost seem an absence of all life and significance.

Roger Caillois, The Writing of Stones

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