Saturday, January 23, 2010

PhotoHunt: Balanced

I took this photo of one of my friends while we were hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains. We stumbled onto these rocks balanced on top of each other. We couldn't quite figure out what they were, but found them interesting.

According to Wikipedia, these manmade pile of stones might have been a carin. In ancient times carins were erected as monuments or used for practical uses such as marking a burial site or the summit of a mountain. Today, they are used to mark hiking trails or cross-country routes in mountain regions. But since this is a pretty popular trail with excellent signage, I'm thinking that carins may also be some kind of hiker tradition or hiker entertainment as well! :)

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  1. What a cool thing to find on a hike. It reminds me of a snowman except that it's rocks not snow. Perfect for the balanced theme.

    Hope you have a great weekend. I can't wait to hear all about meeting Elizabeth!

  2. Hi Annie, glad you like my photo. I didn't even think of a snowman, it kind of does. Now it makes sense that these formations are some kind of entertainment fun thing to do. Maybe I should've made one in Scotland.

    Have a great weekend too. I am so excited to meet Elizabeth I woke up at the crack of dawn. :) I'm brining my phone that has a camera and will try to get a photo of her. I can't wait...

  3. Interesting, whatever the reason!

    Mine's here, if you get a chance to visit.

  4. Yep. Those are cairns. Sometimes also called a ducks. They are very helpful on trails that are across rocks. Perfect for this week's theme. Have a great weekend.

  5. These are so cool! I know a lady who always builds them while she is out hiking. I also see them a lot while hiking in unmarked trails.

    Happy Saturday!

  6. Hi everyone, thanks so much for your comments.

    A, thanks for finding my photo interesting. I really liked your blog and loved your collection of photos for this week's theme.

    Marta, I'm so glad you confirmed that these are carins. Ducks is a cool and interesting name too. Glad you liked the choice for this week.Have a great weekend too.

    Candi, how interesting. When seeing them we wondered who built them and why. They just sort of stood out to us so couldn't resist the photo opp. I can see how these would be very helpful to hikers across trails with rocks (like Marta mentioned) and in unmarked trails. I read that the ones where it snows are built pretty high so it could be seen above the snow to help hikers. Pretty interesting. Have a great Saturday too.

    Thanks everyone and hope you all have a great weekend.

  7. I love these little stone tributes. What a neat discovery and a fun one for this theme.

  8. Hi Kathy, cool take on the theme! I've seen those around here but not on trails, but on people's yards. I guess they use the rocks they find in their yard while doing the landscape.

    I've been thinking about you since I heard about your meeting with Elizabeth. You've been also in my thoughts since I woke up. I hope everything goes well and we soon can see a photo of cute Elizabeth.

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Very cool post and an education for me as well. Hope your visit goes well - don't know who Elizabeth is but I feel your excitement. m

  10. Cool! Carin, huh. Now, I know what they are called.

    Those are small ones. How observant of you and your hiking friend to see those.

    Interesting uses too. Thanks for sharing that information.

  11. Very cool take on the theme this week. I forgot all about these carins. I have seen them hiking in Hawaii (although I think there is another name for them used here but can't remember it at the moment).

  12. Hi Everyone, thanks so much for your liking my photo and for your comments...

    Barb, I enjoyed stumbling on to these carins and learning what they are. Very fun...

    Maria, I'm glad you like my photo. That's interesting that people stack their rocks from their garden. How cool! Thanks so much for thinking about my meeting with Elizabeth this afternoon. I just got back and I am happy to say that it went very well and I am now the proud parent of Elizabeth. I got to hold her and she was so easy and gentle and her owners thought we were a great fit. I was very up front and explained my long hours at work and they said that would be okay with Elizabeth because she is such an easy cat and she would be perfectly fine alone in the house. I took a photo of her which I'll post...I finished the adoption but she won't come home with me until next Saturday because they have to wean her off of her medication. I'm so excited. Thanks for thinking of Elizabeth and me. Have a great weekend too!

    M, I'm glad you enjoyed my post. It was a great education for me too. I found this photo and then google what they might be and it was pretty cool learning about Carins. My meeting with Elizabeth went really well, thank you. Elizabeth is a beautiful 2 year old Tabby cat that I just adopted. I had my first meeting with her and her parent this afternoon. It was pretty exciting to meet her and to now know that I am her adoptive parent....She's a pretty cool cat. Looks just like Annie's Lulu. She could be her twin sister. thanks again.

    Edin, I didn't know what carins were too. We found several of them along this trail and we didn't know what they were. They do seem to have some very interesting uses.

    Girasoli, glad you liked my theme. How interesting that they have another name in Hawaii. Marta said they are also called Ducks. How cool that they also have a Hawaiian name.

  13. oops, that darn publish your comment button got pressed without my knowledge again and I didn't finish my comments.

    I wanted to say thank you for all of your comments. Have a great weekend everyone!

  14. Great shot for the theme - the inuit in northern Canada do a similar thing - inukshuk which are used for a directional marker. They seem to have caught on and now EVERYONE seems to eb building them. It is cool to be driving along and find one balanced at the side of the road . . . pointing the way.

  15. Hi Jerry, thanks so much for liking my photo. That is pretty cool that they have something similar in Canada. I think if I was hiking or driving along and saw these manmade guides pointing the way, I think it would bring me comfort to know that I was going in the right direction. Have a great day today.

  16. Hi Kathy. As you can guess I am very familiar with cairns. I've seen them on trails in the States, Europe and Australia.
    We once were hiking across a lava flow in New Mexico. Since the ground is so hard a trail can't be blazed, so you have to follow the cairns.
    We just got in from a trip to a National Park in the Outback that has been returned to the Aboriginal People. There was a sign at the campground asking that visitors do not build any cairns, add to cairns or remove rocks from cairns. Apparently the cairns that do exist in the park are not to mark the trails, but have other significance within the Indigenous Culture. Something I am going to see if I can find out more about.

  17. Hi Maya, I bet you've seen all different kinds, shapes, sizes and interesting carins. Marta said the same thing about carins being important markings on rocky trails. And that is interesting that there was that warning sign about not disturbing any carins due to the significance of the Indigenous Culture. I had read that in some cultures they mark burial places too. That would be terrible to disturb a carin with that kind of purpose. It's all very interesting and it would be cool to find out more about the carins you saw while in the National Park Outback that may have been tied to the Indigenous Culture.

    Thanks so much for your comments and I'm so glad to finally know what these rocks are. I've always wondered. Have a great day today.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.