Monday, November 8, 2010

Oak Gall du Jour

(Click to enlarge)
I hate, hate, hate business travel.  I hate flying.  I hate being away from my family.
There are only two things that make business travel tolerable:  Meeting customers face to face and working together to solve their problems, and seeing new oak trees - or at least oak trees I don't see very often.

Valley Oak.  Central California.  That is one awesome oak gall.  And to think that wasps are somehow, through some unfathomable combination of witchcraft and alchemy, able to get the oak to manufacture this home for them.

Just another way that oaks sustain life.  Just another oaken miracle.

And as I've discussed before oak galls yielded the permanent - to the point of being eternal - ink with which so many masterworks were penned.  Bach's Concertos.  Leonardo's drawings.  The ink will last forever.  Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the paper though which oak gall ink gradually eats.

Which is another way that oaks sustain life in the form of job security.  For document conservators ;-)

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