Free Association in the Chiricahuas

Hiking in the Chiricahua Mountains can be magical experience, a time to unwind, a time to think, and most importantly a time to free associate.  Frequently while hiking I will look at a scene and see a possible photographic opportunity something that might make an interesting image.  Frequently at the same time a description or image title also pops into my mind.  It often is completely unrelated to the physicality of the scene and sometimes takes some thought before I understand all the details of the scene that prompted the free association description or title.

Yesterday while hiking with guests from All-Star Telescope I came across one of those scenes in Cave Creek Canyon which was accompanied, mentally, by a title and description.  I grabbed some images and then moved on.  It was only when I got home and reviewed the images that I was able to comprehend the complete picture and understood the scene I had captured.  We had been discussing the floods in the canyon as a result of hurricane Odile from several years back and this discussion must have been percolating around, bouncing between neurons, when I saw this old log sitting out in the forest.  The shot below entitle "The Perfect Wave" is the result of a found object (the old log) and discussions about flooding mixing around in my head.  Note the curl of the wave as well as the splash (the green stems) in the foreground and compare with the ocean images below it.  It us strange how the mind works and even stranger how we respond.

The search for the perfect wave.

Catching a wave from Wikipedia

A curl from
I've included a couple of other shots of the log from different angles just to show the complete picture.

A view the other direction.

Some interesting textured knobs (burls) on the old log.


  1. great comparison! your mind is always moving!

  2. Thank you Pat, it worries me at times to have my mind racing and I generally wake up with my mind going 60 mph. But sometimes something good comes from the tangle of neurons that is my brain.