The story behind the image: Steve and I were taking a short walk along Revere Beach. The tide had receded quite a bit. He followed the water. I stayed on shore searching out seashells and stones and wishing I’d worn a thicker sweater. As he returned to me, he suddenly paused and shouted, “Come here. You have to see this.” I raced over and looked down at where he was pointing. Lines and curves in the sand? “Bifurcation diagrams in nature,” he exclaimed. I peered more closely, frowning. He tried explaining the mathematics of what he saw for me. “It’s like the multiplication of little streams leading to chaos.” “Well,” I said slowly, “I’m reminded of those Asian landscape paintings of mountains with cascading waterfalls over the rocks.” We studied the sand for a bit longer, he helping to point out different ways to frame photographs of the bifurcation he was seeing, and we both appreciating our different perspectives of the world.
A poster print of this “mountainous” scene is available online here.