A Floating Rorschach Test: Mud On the Move

Near my house is a place called La Tuna Canyon that has nothing to do with fish. I’ve lived here for a decade but never wondered how that name arose, until I began this post. I want only the best for my readers so have now investigated. Turns out La Tuna is “Spanish for, among other things, prickly pear.” Such an intriguing definition.

 Among other things. Where was I? Ah yes, La Tuna Canyon. Recently I took a hike there, and looked back down at my house:

View from the trail up La Tuna Canyon.

View from the trail up La Tuna Canyon.

Actually my house, down in the valley, is probably around the bend out of view. It is hard to tell with all the trees. It surprises me that the valley’s trees came with the housing tracts. A century ago, the valley was all fields and brush:

The valley in 1927.

The valley in 1927.

 (I got this photo from a site that has many swell photos of long ago Los Angeles.)

I continue to digress. On my hike, I turned a dusty corner like this one:



And I came upon a mud puddle, drying rapidly:


There was not much water remaining, and on the surface, mud flecks floated:


The flecks were like floating islands, and in such interesting patterns and shapes, I had to snap some photos.

As I snapped, I noticed the flecks were moving! The water rippled in a light breeze, and that was enough to send the flecks into eddies and surges:

At first the motions of the flecks suggested plate tectonics. The flecks are an infinite variety of Hawaiian islands. Then I realized that in another few hours the water would be gone, the mud solidified, and now the flecks seemed like vacationers, desperate for a last bit of fun.

As I watch the video now, I remember when I was a kid, eating the last morsels of cereal swimming in a bowl of milk. I would pretend each Cocoa Krispie or Cheerio was a being and I was the royal monster, hunting it down. Among other things.

I’ve never seen mud flecks like this before. What do they look like to you?

(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge wants to see On Top.)



Creatures of Erosion – A Beach Rorschach

A very low tide at Santa Barbara, California’s East Beach reveals a sea wall whose barnacles, mussels, and erosion combine to suggest some magical creatures. Anyway, that is what I see. How about you?

A fantastical biped with another grazing behind?

A fantastical quadruped with another grazing behind?

The creatures look even more mysterious in shadow:

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Here are some close-ups of the creature’s hide:

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Note the anemones nestled at the creature’s feet:

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Rock Rorschach

If you read this blog much, you know I like to see stuff in other stuff.

Here is a rock that sits right in the surf on a Santa Barbara beach. It’s got a big hollow with ever-changing sand deposits.  Last time I was at this beach, the rock looked like a fossil shark tooth to me. What do you see?

What do you see?

What do you see?

Later that day, the surf developed the rock’s next persona:

Tide coming in.

Tide coming in.

(The Weekly Photo Challenge wants to see lines and patterns.)

Insomnia Ain’t All Bad (And Don’t Forget the Rorschach)

One of my least favorite traits: when I get overloaded and face an upcoming crazy day at work, sometimes I can’t sleep.

So here I am, 2:42 a.m., alarm set for 7.

Full moon tonight on a warm and bright night. These photos are shadows of tree leaves, cast by moonlight on my car hood. Reflection of the moon also appears.



I tweaked the B&W contrast in Photoshop, with a bigger tweak in the second photo (hence my car hood looks like a poorly paved road).

And now, to bed. Perchance to sleep.

P.S. While we’re at it – impromptu Rorschach test! What do you see in these images? I see a cave painting of a chicken in the bottom photo.