John & Anne Wiley

2014/01/07

Salt Shapes

Soda Lake is a four or five hour drive from SB, but a happy half hour in Tripp. Rather than have to drive circuitous windy roads around and through the intervening mountain ranges, Tripp simply lifts over them to go direct. Once there, this playground of shapes entertains.

0323 Soda Lake Playground

0323 Soda Lake Playground

Those low mountains are the Temblor Range created by the turmoil on the San Andreas Fault, another attraction of this valley. Speaking of valleys, the hazy one beyond is home to Bakersfield and Fresno, with the Sierras in the distance. Here in the dry lake though, I’m quite drawn to the intricacy of shapes like this frozen lightning bolt.

0329 Intricate Etchings

0329 Intricate Etchings

But my favorite on this flight was a joyful romping reindeer shape.

0328 Romping Reindeer

0328 Romping Reindeer

The delighted leaping shout it makes with stirrups flying, and even a little heart shaped mark by the ear. The beginnings of a unicorn horn, and a wispy beard waggling in the breeze. Yes, this to me is a playful shape any artist could have fun with, especially on such a grand scale.

I wonder how many people ever get to see this perspective, how many of them would see the shapes as I do, and what it is in our psyche that translates natural patterns into art. Perhaps not all children see bunnies and castles in the clouds.

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