Oak trees can stand strong for years - decades, centuries - then suddenly topple over. Why? They have rotted out from inside. Eighteen years ago, when we first arrived in California, our new friends warned us not to picnic under an oak tree. Such advice seemed alarmist to me back then, but I’ve since seen these massive trees crack and break without warning.
After they come down we get a glimpse of their fascinating interior. Over time, and exposed to the elements, the curling becomes more pronounced.
Here are a few oak spirals from around the neighborhood.