The Mud Cracks of Coyote Hills could be a family of mutants, living under the floor boards. But they’re not. They should be. This would be a better post.
These mud cracks are the images you see of the playa, of evaporated salt flats, of terrain expressing desolation. And here, the mud cracks are emblematic of seasons that cycle from lush and winter blue . . .
. . . to scorched and thirsty after heat and sun sear the mud.
I took a sunset walk at Coyote Hills Regional Park, and seeing the marsh still soaked with water in July, I was reminded that I had this archive of mud crack photos. I’m not sure how you forget that, but I did. They were taken in August of last year, after a long, hot summer.
Another before and after . . .
The lines and ridges start to form in the marsh as the water recedes and evaporates. The formerly saturated mud dries out and shrinks into this fabric of polygons.
Mud cracks are actually useful in ancient sediment studies. They can help determine the original environments of fossils, suggesting areas like playas and shallow basins where water evaporation could have occurred. That is, of course, a simplistic description of mud’s academic value. I can’t get into the complexity.
For the purposes of this post, mud cracks provide these outstanding textures and colors . . . even if I couldn’t help but wish for winter rains to ease the discomfort of this drought-time imagery.