Old Man from the Sea
Almendra (tropical Almond) buttress
44"H x 39"W x 11"D
The buttress of a tree serves to prop up its trunk against the winds. Structurally, a tree buttress is built like plywood. Its parallel grain can absorb stress that the circular grain of the trunk cannot. In the tropics, huge old trees sometimes are uprooted by floods and carried into the ocean. The roots submerge and emerge through the surf as if nature were sending Man a message. This one came to me on a beach in Puerto Rico; its buttress became the Old Man from the Sea.