Photo of the Week – November 3, 2017

While at the Niobrara Valley Preserve last week, I hiked around in the former pine savanna on the bluffs north of the river.  I’ve always enjoyed the patterns found in the bark of ponderosa pine trees, especially after a fire.  Because of the big 2012 wildfire that swept across the Niobrara Valley Preserve, we have thousands of dead ponderosa pines, and (among other things) that means lots of great bark patterns.

Ponderosa Pine Bark pattern. Niobrara Valley Preserve

Not only are pine bark patterns interesting to look at, it’s also fun to try to find images of familiar objects in them.  It’s a little like cloud watching, but instead of gazing dreamily into the sky, you stare at dead burned trees.  It’s probably not for everyone, but one perk is that you don’t get a crick in your neck while doing it.

I didn’t see any particular picture in the first photo shown here, but I did in the next two.  I’m curious to know if any of you see what I see, or if you see something completely different.

So far, people have seen a giraffe, a scorpion, and a happy turkey in this one…


This one brings to mind a couple different Looney Tunes cartoons for me.

It’s probably a good thing I don’t live at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  Among all the other things that would distract me from getting work done, I might spend too much time just wandering around looking for pictures in tree bark…

7 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – November 3, 2017

  1. meredithannfuller November 3, 2017 / 9:41 am

    Really good. What is it about scarred surfaces that draws us? In Mexico, the walls that time and moisture and bacteria and fungal processes have made into a beautiful patina . . .

  2. Steve Schomberg November 3, 2017 / 9:42 am

    I see a violin hidden under leaves and ground debrie in the middle picture.

  3. Steve Thompson November 3, 2017 / 11:04 am

    I see a turkey head in the first picture, and a dog or cow face in the second.

  4. marknupen November 3, 2017 / 11:46 am

    Uh, Chris, I think you have set this up as a hidden Rorschach test: The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex …

    Very Clever Chris, but I am not going to fall for it! HAH!!

  5. Joanne November 3, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    First photo — baby owl peeking out of its nest. Rorschach, what does this mean? :)

  6. Julene Bair November 3, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    Not sure what you might see, but am taken by the beauty. I can smell that vanilla scent of ponderosa pine just looking at these.

  7. Christie Soderling November 3, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    I see a large talon in the 2nd one (Having just watched H is for Hawk on PBS), and the last one makes me think of maps – oceans and continents. And since I just finished a book about Rorschach and his prints, I wonder if you have a future in psychology, Chris?


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