Plastic, rubber, and rust

It can be pretty entertaining to find odd little things lying lost or discarded while hiking around the lakebed at Folsom. It may be some object that’s fairly easy to identify — like the various pairs of sunglasses lost overboard by summertime boaters; and then there are the mysterious pieces, old and new. Are they of historical interest or just useless scraps? Have they been lying undiscovered for decades or just a few months? Some questions may never be answered… but it’s still fun to speculate.

It took me an embarassingly long time to realize this (above) was a piece of styrofoam and not a skeletal fragment of some strange animal.

I believe this is some company logo meant to look like like a fish or a shark; the “eye” in one corner is actually a hole, and I can imagine it hanging from a keychain, but I haven’t been able to identify it so I’m only guessing.

Glass bottles are always potential artifacts! On the other hand, it might not be very old — I don’t know enough about bottle shapes to tell.

Somebody’s probably wondering whatever happened to the lid of their pricey insulated coffee mug.

Just a stick tangled in some fishing line, hanging from a tree branch. It made me look twice! But it’s also a reminder that fishing line can be a serious problem to wildlife and the environment when not disposed of properly. I also should note that whenever I’m outdoors I try to leave nature as I found it. It pains me to see litter scattered on the ground, and I’m careful to pack out everything that I brought with me.

This has clearly been underwater for a long time! With all the pitting, it’s hard to read but I can make out “Patented” and a date — maybe 1947? These are the type of things I love to find and photograph.

You might recall seeing this skull on the blog a few days ago. I had photographed it from afar when I first spotted it on February 1st; so on our next trip, a little over a week later, I went back to get a closer look. (I obviously have a fascination for skulls — if it had been anything other than a skull, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.) I discovered the skull had fallen or had been moved and was now lying on the rock on the other side of the trail. I also set it upright for a better shot, below.

But that’s not the end of the skull’s story! Because as I was looking back over the photos I had taken in mid January, I realized I had passed along this very same stretch of trail, with great walls of granite rising on either side. And what should I see in my photo dated January 14 but that tiny plastic skull, hanging over my head on the end of a dead stick.

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