Pareidolia in the Park

Reg’s Dlog (Well, what else would you call a dog’s blog?)

The Old Boy is going to do a walk for charity in June and he’s been in training for a while now. He’s going to do the Lyke Wake Walk, which is a 42 mile hike, across the North Yorkshire Moors. If you complete the walk within 24 hours, you’re entitled to wear the official Lyke Wake Walk coffin-shaped badge, (if you feel your life would be enhanced by a coffin-shaped badge and you have 24 hours to spare, there are more details here from the official Lyke Wake Walk website).

Last week, the Old Boy walked 15 miles as part of his training, and this week, he wanted to increase it by ten miles, so he went to Thorndon Country Park, Brentwood, Essex to do five circuits. The Old Girl wanted to try her new walking boots out, so she went too, although she was only going to do one circuit. I was in charge of the map and studied it closely before hand so we wouldn’t get lost. The Old Girl was quite interested to find the Crinoline Lady because the map and guide stated “A visit to the park wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Crinoline Lady” and let’s face it, there’s no point going to a park and feeling your visit hasn’t been complete. The description carried on to say the Crinoline Lady is “the name given to a very old oak pollard.The strange growth around the base of the tree is said to be caused by generations of deer rubbing the velvet from their newly-grown antlers in summer.” I couldn’t begin to imagine what we were going to find.

Oak tree shaped like a crinoline skirt
The Crinoline Lady

‘What’s a pollard?’ I wanted to know. The Old Girl was rather vague about it and finally, we decided we’d probably recognise the Crinoline Lady, when we saw her. And this actually, was the case. It may help to squint a bit and to engage your imagination but if you look at the photo carefully, the tree behind the Old Boy, is probably her.

Anyway, back to my subject, which is pareidolia (and not paraboloid, which is the word my spell checker wants to use instead of pareidolia. I may look up paraboloid and dlog about that at a later date, when I’ve learned to look things up and of course, to read). But in the meantime, back to pareidolia. For those of you who think I’ve just typed a lot of letters at random, pareidolia is seeing faces and other recognisable things where they don’t exist, like finding faces in trees. I only know this because the Old Girl told me and she saw it on a blog which has photos of faces in trees in New York. The blog, ‘Ken and Anne’s Everything Blog’  belongs to authors Kenneth and Anne Rothman-Hicks and if you want to see some of their photos, click here to go to their blog. And while you’re there, check out their list of excellent books.

Anyway, back to my efforts.photo 2(10)photo 1(11)photo 3(10)photo 2(12)And here they are:

The next photo is the best, although the Old Girl said I’ve cheated. photo 1(10)Sometimes she’s such a smart Alec.

Anyway, by the time the Old Girl’s boots were hurting, I’d decided I’d had enough. And with good reason. Firstly, I’d spotted this sign, photo 2(11) pointing out where the birds and squirrels were. I’m not sure how they know all the birds and squirrels congregate in that part of the woods but I’m only a dog, so what would I know? Anyway, not far away, was this sign: photo 3(9) The top sign is obvious but the bottom? Well, compare the bird and squirrel to the size of that paw print and I’m sure you’ll agree that lurking to the left, somewhere near the cafe and also straight ahead are large animals with large feet. I don’t care if the Old Girl says there are no bears in the woods. The signs say different.

Anyway, we all got out safely and after such a close shave with death, I thought I’d best check you’ve read your copy of the Old Girl’s ebook ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’ before it’s too late. You never know when you’re likely to meet a large animal with large feet and even larger teeth. You can get a copy here on the Muse It Up Publishing website if you haven’t already got one and at the same time, you can feel good knowing you’ve contributed some much needed cash to St. Nicholas Church, Laindon with Dunton so that renovations can be carried out on the ancient building because all profits are going to the fund. It’s a win-win situation. And there are no bears round the church. So that’s a bonus.