In Photos: Tafoni @ Salt Point State Park

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I was hoping that this warmish December weather would tease out a few late-season porcinis at Salt Point State Park this week, but I couldn’t find anything edible today. Mushrooms are often mysterious, but I suspect that once the first frost of winter occurs, porcinis may go dormant for the year (in which case, their off-switch had already been tripped at least two weeks ago). Either way, I was skunked at Salt Point for the first time in 2009, and it will be a long, patient wait before my next fresh porcini. Still, the weather was perfect this afternoon, and I was able to snap some photos of tafoni.

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Tafoni is the name given to these reticulate patterns in sedimentary rock, and Salt Point State Park is one of the few places on earth where this phenomenon exists. Although geologists have not fully explained how this unique weathering pattern occurs, the influence of salt crystals is thought to be a factor. All three photos were taken in Gerstle Cove, just a bit south of Stump Beach (which, by the way, does not feature any tafoni).

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