A Penchant for Pareidolia (6)

As we face a New Year with unforeseen, formidable, and frankly-bizarre challenges, I find myself looking for hope—and distraction—in the world around me. With this thought foremost in mind, we are delighted to be able to go for a casual walk in a local park, and we did just that a little more than a week ago, to a parcel of land that’s known as Smiths Bush, and is a rare and precious local remnant of old-growth forest. Among the most impressive trees are the puriri (Vitex lucens). There is an unforgettable grove of them near the main entrance, but as we walked the entire circuit (both ways), I noticed, or more accurately imagined—for the first time—not one, but two(!) faces imbedded in one of these remarkable trees, very close to the boardwalk. I had passed this tree at least several dozen times before, but this time it spoke to me. The first that caught my eye was the gnome, with its long chin and beard, its high forehead, and its scrunched-up eyes and nose, as if it had just heard a really outrageous pun; the second was just above and to the right of it, seeming to look down on its neighbor with something akin to benevolent tolerance. Can you see them? And, if you can, what do you read in their expressions?

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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25 Responses to A Penchant for Pareidolia (6)

  1. “Pareidolia strikes deep in the hardwood,” to springboard off a line from the 1966 song “For What It’s Worth,” by another S.S., Stephen Stills. In this instance I semi-see (another s-s) your visions of gnomes.

  2. Meanderer says:

    I could see the Buddha and then a foetus – a rather curious combination – or is it?!! A wonderful and distracting past time – one that perhaps we should all partake in a little more often – but, yes to distractions generally and finding ways of coping with the craziness around us.

    Well, we watched Dean Spanley and what a film!! We loved it – have watched it twice and enjoyed every minute of it. Wonderful story and acting; a real gem. It’s gone into my other half’s top 10 films and he is currently reading the short story the film is based on by Lord Dunsanay, who also inspired a concept album by Steeleye Span! It has also made us think that we should have put more thought into Tokaji when drinking it, and the next plan is to lay in some more stocks of the ‘syrup’. Many thanks, my friend.

    • krikitarts says:

      You’re welcome–but now you’ve got me: I can’t see either a Buddha or a fetus, but how dull a world it would be if we all saw the same things! I thought Dean Spanley would be a big hit with you and I’m very pleased to learn that it was–and is. BTW, I see that Oremus Aszu 6 Puttonyos is available here–at NZ$129 (Є 76.32). How does that compare with what you can find there?

      • Meanderer says:

        Tokaji seems to be in short supply from the usual stockists at present (no, I haven’t bought it all!). I did a search and the 5 Puttonyos one (which seems to be the more widely available version) from other stockists is retailing at around £24.00 (around NZ$45) and the rarer 6 Puttonyos bottle is around £50.00 (NZ$93).

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    Yes, I think I can see them, Gary, but like Meanderer I’m not entirely sure. :)

  4. shoreacres says:

    I don’t see them at all. Instead, I see some lovely abstractions of very interesting bark. However, I do have something I think you’d like to see. How about this article about a new species of recluse spider that’s been named for Leonard Cohen?

    • krikitarts says:

      I think I did hear something about the new spider; the earliest reference I could find was from about a month ago. Thanks for the reference–and I’ve been a Cohen fan for many, many years. I’ve always loved Suzanne, but I think Sisters of Mercy is my favorite.

  5. I think we’re all looking for a bit of distraction. I’ll have to take a closer look at my neighbourhood trees 😏

  6. Trees are very much symbols of life…. we walk past them too often without pausing to pay them respect

  7. I see either a fetus or a tiny animal tucked in some shelter for a sleep. The imagination is a wonderful attribute of humans…when used for good.

  8. Jane Lurie says:

    Love this. I, too, see the fetus and a small rabbit in the first. A man with a big beard in the second and another small animal curled up in the third. I see faces a lot… :) :)

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks very much for your comments, Jane. My daughter asked me today if I really look for faces, and I seldom do, but when they are there, they seem to be looking for me. I love your “Flight, Big Sur” photo–was that a half-chevron of pelicans? I was tempted to leave a complementary comment, but you’ve had so many already that I didn’t want to clutter up your inbox.

  9. mickjscott says:

    Oh! They are most certainly there. All 3 of them! It’s no wonder they filmed Lord of the Rings in NZ with these in your trees. Amazing. Thanks for showing.

    • krikitarts says:

      Hi Mick, and thanks for joining in. Considering your art and the textures that you employ, I’m not surprised that you can see the visages–but I’m curious: You mentioned three; have you seen one that I overlooked (as it looked over me)?

      • mickjscott says:

        Yes. The second face you talk about. I can see two different profiles. The first has one closed eye (the other is covered by hair) and is looking down and slightly to the viewers left. Also in the same form I can see another face looking to the viewers right. It has a larger parsons type nose and long chin.
        It’s really difficult to describe these using words. I hadn’t realised until reading your post but I do tend to personify trees.
        Here’s an 💡 idea! How do you feel about a ‘find a face in a tree’ challenge? I haven’t a clue how these things work as I’ve never got involved in one. But it would be a bit of fun getting bloggers to find tree faces on their daily walks and post them. Goblins of the world unite kind of thing. Thanks for visiting my website by the way.

  10. mickjscott says:

    Hi there again. Would you mind if I re blogged this post of yours? 1) because I like it and 2) it’s inspired me to create a visual poem which I intend to publish on my site next week. So I would like to credit you for the idea as well as provide some background to my creation. Hope this will be ok with you. All the best

    • krikitarts says:

      Hi Mick, and thanks very much for your interest. Yes, you are welcome to re-blog my post, and I appreciate your asking in advance. I’m looking forward to your new visual poem. Please also check out some of my other posts under the “A Penchant for Pareidolia” category.

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