Photographer's Note

The speckled mudstone of Santa Cruz is such an unusual site, I was in awe of the wonderful abstract nature to be found there. These unusual layers of rocks are at Natural Bridges State Beach. The first part of the state beach and natural preserve encompasses an eucalyptus forest where the monarch butterflies migrate to inthe fall and winter, then there is a river that flows into the beach area. The tidepools and bluffs are over to the right of the forest. There is also an arch just within reach of the beach that attracts photographers at sunset.
I cropped the image because of a shadow in the lower left corner. I also added a bit of contrast and some light saturation to bring out the spots. All comments and critiques are welcomed because I would like to know what you think. I was attracted to the geometry and abstract nature of the rocks.
"Santa Cruz's famous marine terraces, carved by the ocean waves some 80,000 years ago when the land lay lower and the sea level was steady. Since that time the sea has fluctuated and the land has risen. Several older terraces lie higher along the coast. The terraces are topped with a thin layer of beach sand and gravel. Today's seacliffs expose the older rock beneath. The underlying Santa Margarita Sandstone is full of organic matter. Beneath it, the Monterey Formation is even more so (it's the foremost of the Bay Area's petroleum source rocks). So for many thousands of years, natural gas and hydrocarbons have been rising through the Santa Cruz Mudstone, both before and after it turned from sediment to stone. They followed a set of millions of parallel cracks, or joints, made by the stresses of moving along the San Andreas fault. After that, chemically active water did the same, depositing iron minerals in the stone. You'll see that the iron mineralization is closely related to the jointing."(by Andrew Alden,

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Additional Photos by Karen Abel (kabel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 322] (1930)
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