Hello folks who wonder if empathy is a terrible quality for a parking enforcement official to possess who wishes to excel in their career,

Historically, you could guess someone's age by counting the number of wrinkles on their faces. But, these days with the introduction of Botox and filler injections, it is becoming harder and harder. And asking it right off the bat is a strict no-no in our Western culture.

So what do you do? You bring up a random topic like "Weren't the 70's such an amazing time for music?" or "isn't Selena Gomez the best thing that happened to humanity?". If they say 60's were the best, you kinda start getting an idea which time period they spent their teenage years in.

Luckily, things in nature are not always so cryptic in revealing their age.
Take for instance, a lichen you would normally see in parks that are further away from most freeways, is the Evernia lichen (Need to learn what lichens are? Check out this post). Evernia lichens look like a bunch of branches with green color on top and white on the bottom.
These lichens are really sensitive to nitrogen and sulphur dioxide pollution(that's why other lichens call them snowflakes), hence are unlikely to be found around your house. That might change soon, if this coronavirus ends up doing what humans kept on delaying: mitigating climate change, then maybe we could see these lichens adore our backyards.

Coming back to how you can age them, you see, they take about a year before branching, so you can count the number of times it has forked and use that to count it's age in years.

Below is how an Evernia lichen looks like.

Tree rings are another way of estimating the age of trees. This is the way it works: Figure out which tree you want to find the age of, then take an axe, chop it down, observe the tree rings and then brood over the fallen tree. Once the tree rings are visible you will see several concentric circles with some thicker than others. 

The tree majorly grows during spring/early summer season and then some during late summer/fall season. One can estimate the age of the tree by counting the tree rings with the first year growth in the center.

The animation below shows how the tree ages with an example of its age.

Another thing you can make sense of is, which years had good growth by the thickness of the rings.
Whenever a tree has plenty of sunshine, water and nutrients it will grow much more than when it is on a keto diet, hence you will see a thicker ring for a good year of growth.
This information can also be used to find out when drought might have taken place in the past that might have affected the growth of the tree.

In the video below if you look at the rings towards the bark of the tree, you will see those are much thinner than the ones closer to the center. 
Maybe it started skipping meals because its friends were judging it or maybe it had to always maintain unrealistic beauty standards for its instagram followers, guess we will never know.

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