Beautiful and majestic the crown of this mature tree towers above the forest canopy. Silver grey bark is shiny and thin and carries the marks of careless of passerby's. These trees are frequently larger and older than neighboring trees, because the wood was too hard for the first foresters to cut with their axes. American beech lives as long as 500 years. The mature trees shade the baby seedlings so that they stay small for 2-300 years. As the mature tree dies it nourishes the small ones. This story of cycles intrigues me. This painting is of a 500 year old parent with a Juvenal growing through the center.