Tree barks tell remarkable stories. The barks of young oaks in the savannah are taught, smooth and speckled with grays, blacks, and whites. The sheen of fresh growth is ruptured with age. The old barks are rough, chiseled, and brittle. The distinct lines and fissures of each tree’s bark are the effects of the forces of new growth happening below the surface. Each texture on each tree is the effect of that living being intently pressing itself up against itself, against its own once-living matter. This is the force of expansion, the subtle daily and seasonal rhythmic pulsing and thickening of the trunk as the sap rises. Each trunk thickens and expands as new growth dies off to join widening rings of woody tissues. Here life surfaces death; and death is lined by life. You can learn to feel the distinct formations of different trees of the savannah: black oak, red oak, white oak, red pine, white pine. Each species has a distinctive bark. And each tree has a distinctive story to tell. Try to feel out the differences by drawing your hand across the bark. Or you can make a bark rubbing by holding paper up to the tree and etching with charcoal.