I’ve always been struck by nature’s ability to conceal. So many things seem to blend into the other, edges softening and blurring, our eyes unsure if optical illusions are at play. In the desert, this concealment can be downright startling (Yep – I’m thinking rattlesnakes, so invisible their reptilian skin melts into the cocoa-colored earth).
Nature’s visual display of hide ’n seek is not unlike the Where’s Waldo books of the late ‘80s and ‘90s, with their illustrative ‘red herrings’ – other red-and-white striped objects masking the geeky cartoon character.
I thought it would be fun to send my readers on a “Where’s Waldo” of natural wonders – all based on images I’ve snapped over the years – of some pretty darn illusive subjects in the Sonoran Desert. (Trust me … I had more). In case you can’t see the camouflaged critters in these photos, answers are at the bottom of the post. Click photos to enlarge.
For Readers/Writers: Do you find that certain aspects of a story become invisible to you as you read? Without fail, I seem to lose track of a story’s timeline – or I simply fail to pay attention to how many days or moths have passed in every story I read. I also seem to lack the ability to remember the ages of young characters. Always. What about you? Does the physical setting of the books you’re reading just disappear? The physical descriptions of characters? Something else?
When you write, do you want certain things to be invisible – hidden under the surface of your words for the reader to unearth? What are they? What is the value of concealing them?
Answers: Imagine – on all these images – if you weren’t taking a microscopic look in the way I was: Pretty darn invisible, huh? Photographed from top to bottom: bullock’s oriole; baby desert tortoise; TWO white-tailed deer; a common fence lizard; a tree frog; TWO owlets; a crazy grasshopper, the likes of which I’ve never before seen and almost smooshed.