Depictions of nature spirits can be found all throughout Europe. The figure commonly known as the Green Man is strongly connected to Jack in the Green and the May King, as well as John Barleycorn. He has been described as a forest guardian, a symbol of life in the natural world, and is thought to watch over forests and gardens, as well as any buildings where his face is carved. Sometimes his face is shown as older and a bit menacing, other times his appearance is peaceful and contemplative. Although there is very little known about him in the way of actual mythology, the common thought is that he is an ancient and protective being.