February 23, 2018
This entry was posted on February 23, 2018 by Linda Grashoff. It was filed under Log and was tagged with dead trees, local custom, Longboat Key, nature, photography, sand, Sarasota County, seashell.
that decorative display took some effort!
February 23, 2018 at 5:24 PM
Yes, but it probably wasn’t all done by one person. When I first saw seashells stuck on a dead tree, I thought it happened naturally from waves crashing on the shore and lifting the seashells. Pretty naive.
February 23, 2018 at 7:37 PM
Thanks for holding off on the sunny skies, sand, and warm water, Linda, until almost the end of February. With the vernal equinox less than a month away, I think I can handle such images now 🙂
Btw, I also thought nature was responsible for the seashell sculpture. Where though are all the beer cans?
February 23, 2018 at 9:03 PM
Glad to know you’re going to make it, Alan. I have more beach photos to go. . . . Oh, good; I felt foolish when I realized that people had to be responsible. Never saw a single beer can. (That’s good.)
February 23, 2018 at 9:05 PM
I like to think of them as offerings, something many people participate in, and get a good feeling from. Or as a communal, public artwork. I did think for an instant that the shells washed up there, but then I saw that it couldn’t be the case, and I’ve seen so many examples of people creating things like this outdoors in the last few years. Piles of rocks, drawings in the sand, things hung or balanced, it goes on and on. I will try to keep cynical thoughts that it’s all done for facebook or instagram at bay.
February 23, 2018 at 9:47 PM
Do you know Ellen Dissanayake‘s book What Is Art For?? She talks about the ritual aspects of early human activity before that activity was called art. That’s what I think about when I see things like this. Was it you, though, who linked to an article about the rock piles’ detrimental effects on the immediate environment? That’s also something to think about. Here’s one link about it: https://www.hcn.org/articles/a-call-for-an-end-to-cairns-leave-the-stones-alone. I don’t know if putting seashells on trees is as bad, but I’m considering it now.
February 24, 2018 at 1:27 PM
OMG, third time I’ve comments, lets’ hope it doesn’t disappear again. I don’t know the book, or author – I’ll check it out, thanks. Yes, ritualistic…and that’s fine with me, but then it can get “meme-ish” where everyone has to add their rock or shell or do their thing just because everyone else is, and then post it to their page…and yes, I did mention seeing a sign in a preserve that prohibited cairns and asked that you notify people if you saw any. Wow. That’s serious, like your article from – High Country News! Funny, Gunta and I were just discussing that. Haha, the author lives near Sedona, no wonder they’re sick of people’s spiritual practices in the wild! She makes points that one may be disturbing animal habitat by moving stones, but I disagree when she says a rock pile someone left behind is no better than a tissue/litter, that we never want to know others were there ahead of us. That’s not where I come from. Pointless reminders of the human ego? That’s sad. Sometimes, sure. But there are purer impulses than that. Personally, I don’t require a belief that I’m the first human to have been on a trail. 🙂 OK, stepping down now!
February 25, 2018 at 5:07 PM
It did not disappear. Yay. I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed most of the little rock piles I’ve found by the Vermilion River. But now I wonder if I’ll feel the same the next time I see one. A trail itself is a good sign that people have been there before you, except that I think some of the trail along the Vermilion is from deer. I was surprised at how many hits I got Googling cairn environment or whatever it was that I Googled. Wonder if the issue will be even more talked about.
February 25, 2018 at 5:17 PM
That is incredible. Fantastic pictures of something very special.
February 24, 2018 at 1:19 PM
I was thinking about the specialness of these formations when I took the photographs and when I posted them on the blog. But now I’m feeling not so good about them. To see why, look at my reply to bluebrightly’s comment. If you follow the second link, let me know what you think.
February 24, 2018 at 1:31 PM
I had thought at first that the shells had accumulated naturally on the tree stump but I like it just the same now that I know the shells have been placed there. I quite like coming across artworks like this. I followed the link about stone cairns. I have not seen views like this expressed before. The writer makes some valid points but I am not certain that I feel so strongly about them that I would ban non-legitimate cairns. They are very fleeting features on the landscape and do not always create harmful as well as unwanted aesthetic effects.
February 24, 2018 at 1:53 PM
Thanks for your comments, Jessica.
February 24, 2018 at 2:07 PM
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For more information about the iron bacteria, including Leptothrix discophora, click on this image of the book They Breathe Iron: Artistic and Scientific Encounters with an Ancient Life Form.
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