Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Seeping cliff

with 35 comments

On June 12th I spent time at the cliff on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway
a little north of the bridge over the Colorado River.

You can see that as water seeps through the cliff it slowly deposits minerals.

Most of the cliff doesn’t seep. In some places the contrast between wet and dry calls attention to itself.

Might these be time- and weather-worn Mayan glyphs?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2019 at 4:22 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

35 Responses

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  1. That third image looks like one of the faces I’ve been finding in rocks. The first looks like a tower fortress.

    Steve Gingold

    July 23, 2019 at 5:19 AM

  2. If this was masonry, I’d say the deposits were the result of efflorescence, and I guess the term would apply to a porous stone, too. And I see an “aquiline” nose in the last shot – – I’d have thought that term related to water, too, but looked it up and it’s eagles, one of the Mayans’ favorite symbols, so clearly this Mayan thing is now scientifically proven!

    Robert Parker

    July 23, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    • I see that efflorescence is also called bloom, which makes sense, given the root flor. You’re right that aquiline comes from Latin aquila, eagle, rather than aqua, water. I commend your QED proof of Mayan identity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 23, 2019 at 7:06 PM

  3. Very interesting post on the transformation of a cliff, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    July 23, 2019 at 8:03 AM

    • I like to go by this cliff every so often and observe the effects of the seep. The road bed was cut through the cliff more than 40 years ago, so these pictures show the effects of decades of seeping.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 23, 2019 at 7:24 PM

  4. You’ve captured some of the varied textures of nature.


    July 23, 2019 at 8:25 AM

  5. I see the elephant’s head, and I certainly see the idea of a Mayan glyph. Absorbing studies.

    Michael Scandling

    July 23, 2019 at 9:22 AM

  6. Seeps are so cool and these are wonderful photos of one. I really like the texture you capture.
    A lot of times they are host to unique plants. The first photo you show bears a striking resemblance to the canvas that is currently on my daughter’s easel. It has been wonderful sharing a studio with my talented daughter.


    July 23, 2019 at 9:54 AM

    • It really is a coincidence if the first photo closely resembles what’s on your daughter’s easel. Happy studio sharing.

      As for the plants that seeps support, you’re anticipating the next post a few days from now.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 23, 2019 at 7:30 PM

      • Oh, good. Can’t wait to see them. Yes, I was really taken by surprise when I saw your post so soon after admiring what she’d been doing. Now, of course, she has changed it with a couple of layers. Sometimes I’m tempted to swipe her paintings when I think they are done, before she starts messing with them!


        July 23, 2019 at 10:45 PM

        • I’ve heard about people telling artists to stop because their work is done and if they keep going they’ll make things worse. We read about an instance of that just the other day but I can’t remember who the artist was.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 24, 2019 at 7:39 AM

  7. I can almost feel the textures. Beautiful photos, you really captured the beauty of the cliff.


    July 23, 2019 at 12:17 PM

  8. I can imagine the first photo as a Gustav Klimt painting: gold and glittering, with just the right touch of hardness. Setting that aside, it’s my favorite of the group for the perspective you chose: looking upward, giving the cliff the appearance of a great set of gates.

    In the third photo, my eye was caught by the image of a tiny fish at center right, as though it had landed in some algae and they dried out together. Alternatively, the human in the middle of that same photo might have been showing off, tossing and catching little fish with his mouth — until he missed.


    July 23, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    • Funny you should mention Klimt, as we recently watched a movie about him and browsed a book of his art. We may see some of his paintings in person next week in New York:


      Your mention of a great set of gates brought to mind (and ear) the Great Gate of Kiev in Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

      I hadn’t noticed the tiny fish but now I see it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 24, 2019 at 7:33 AM

  9. The middle two images remind me of lichen growing on rock, Steve. I think the color and texture are very similar.


    July 23, 2019 at 10:22 PM

  10. Hey, and thanks for the comment — I’m between errands (changing a door lock and getting materials for building a pantry) but your comment made me pause and upload an image that’s been ‘waiting’ until there was time to share it with you! It goes with this post!

    Another post of yours is still on the screen; ‘Another Staredown’ — that is a fantastic image, and it must have been wonderful to have that moment with the deer!

    I’m on line little during this move, but hope in a few weeks to have internet at the apartment.. then i’ll be able to return to the WP world in easy doses most every day – or night! This week I’ve stayed up really late cleaning ceramic tile floor, one square at a time….

    Thank you again for your thoughtful query!


    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    August 29, 2019 at 4:03 PM

    • That’s a funny portrait you’ve created, a staredown of sorts. no deer required.

      I’m glad to hear your move is proceeding well and you’ll be back on line before too long.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2019 at 5:27 PM

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