Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Interesting geology

with 23 comments

During the same August 26th visit to Bull Creek District Park that you saw pictures of last time, I stopped by a limestone overhang where I’d taken pictures in other years. This time I noticed a group of brain-like formations that had somehow escaped me on those previous visits, and that I assume eons of dripping water had created. Close by and higher up, a different sort of formation asked to have its portrait made, as you see below. Note the southern maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris), both green and brown.

And here’s a cautionary quotation that’s as relevant now as it was when it appeared in 1945: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” — Animal Farm, by Eric Blair writing under the name George Orwell.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 16, 2020 at 3:08 AM

23 Responses

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  1. The structures in your first image are wonderful. The main structure in the second seems to be a creature leaning over to assess what’s below. Good stuff!


    September 16, 2020 at 3:15 AM

    • I think the reason I didn’t previously notice the structures in the first photograph is that the area under the overhang is heavily shaded. It’s dark enough that I had to use flash to take pictures. As for the second one, I imagined a manatee.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2020 at 7:12 AM

  2. Even with the hint in your title, I couldn’t figure out what I was looking at in the first image. It surely was rock, but of what sort, or where located, I couldn’t imagine. It’s a wonderfully successful abstraction: another image that makes the thought of exploring along a flowing creek so attractive.


    September 16, 2020 at 6:18 AM

    • The creeks that have carved their way into the limestone of the Edwards Plateau have provided me with many pictures, as you’ve seen here over the years. Bull Creek and its tributaries, being close to home, have provided the most. If the structures in today’s first photograph defied recognition for you, so much the better as a tribute to abstraction.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2020 at 7:35 AM

  3. I agree with krikitarts. I thought the quote was very apt because in the second photo I saw a cat and a young dog ( a pug, perhaps) peering over the edge at something; perhaps feeling more equal ( or superior) than what is below them.


    September 16, 2020 at 6:18 AM

    • You built on krikitarts’s foundation by seeing not one animal but two. I didn’t consciously pick today’s quotation because of any animal resemblance in the photograph. In fact I originally had an Orwell quotation from a different work, then swapped it for this one by Orwell that I’d used in another upcoming post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2020 at 7:46 AM

  4. Molten rock bubbling to the surface of the earth and then flowing while still in liquid state might be the story of its creation giving it its brain-like appearance.

    Peter Klopp

    September 16, 2020 at 9:00 AM

    • I wanted to ask a geologist I know but he moved away from Austin a couple of years ago. I may yet track down another authority and find out

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2020 at 1:45 PM

  5. Beautiful and unusual! I’m with Gallivanta – I see a pug and a cat in that second image. Thank goodness I don’t see any chickens this time…


    September 16, 2020 at 10:14 AM

    • Beautiful and unusual, indeed. I still don’t know how I missed those formations on my previous visit, even with the heavy shade. You and Gallivanta are both attuned to animals.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2020 at 2:18 PM

  6. That is wild stuff…and the color is surprising. It looks like the perfect place for Adiantum. 🙂


    September 18, 2020 at 2:29 PM

    • Wild stuff, and yet easily accessible in my part of town—too easily, alas, because some graffiti showed up on part of the cliff since I was there last year. Fortunately it didn’t ruin these formations.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 18, 2020 at 2:54 PM

      • That’s so unfortunate. I hope no one else adds to the graffiti.


        September 28, 2020 at 7:24 PM

        • I’ve often thought that when people who put graffiti on things get caught (if any of them ever do), the punishment should be that they spend long days removing graffiti from public places.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 28, 2020 at 8:35 PM

  7. Very curious.


    September 19, 2020 at 6:32 AM

    • Better curious than injurious, as I always say (except that I just made it up).

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 19, 2020 at 7:07 AM

      • I could imagine it being slippery, so perhaps both!


        September 19, 2020 at 7:09 AM

        • Actually I do have to be careful when taking my pictures. Some subjects are in awkward-to-reach places; the ground may slope or be rough; Texas has lots of prickly things that seem to want to get into a person’s skin.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 19, 2020 at 7:45 AM

  8. That is really cool looking~I’m glad you spotted it this time out.


    October 26, 2020 at 10:05 AM

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