Just in time for Halloween, let’s investigate what seems mysterious to the eye.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” ~ Albert Einstein

Nature is Mysterious

The natural world never ceases to amaze me with its mysteries. Some things are odd, others stunningly beautiful, while others are just plain mysterious if you use your imagination.

In September, Marsha Ingrao and I took a day trip from Portland to the Oregon Coast and Tillamook area. We stopped at the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. After visiting the lighthouse, we walked the path along the cliffs. We found some truly awe-inspiring sights with “mysterious” in our minds.

mysterious view
A mysterious view through trees and fog

The octopus tree, also known as the monstrosity tree, is a big attraction to the area.

Octopus tree Cape Meares

“The Octopus Tree, a Pacific Northwest spruce tree (also known as the Council Tree, the Monstrosity Tree, and the Candelabra Tree), is believed to be around 250 to 300 years old.” Atlas Obscura

mysterious Tree growth

Shown as the featured image, the sap oozing on the side of a tree looked mysteriously like the head of a bull and was about as big as one.

Last June these five juvenile ravens hung out in our neighborhood and acted relatively tame. Caught them with my cell phone. But it’s a mystery why a group of ravens is called “unkindness.”

I have already lamented about our slow start to Autumn this year. Of course, it is a mystery to me why many trees have not gotten into their fall glory by now. Not only that, but the Larch (aka Tamarack) is a conifer that mysteriously loses its needles in the Fall. These ones nearby are last year’s images because they STILL have not changed to yellow yet.

On the Trail

There is a mystery to walking along certain trails. I discovered this surprise “Kindness” rock on this urban trail near Portland, OR.

mysterious trail rock

Walking through a fog-darkened trail on the Oregon coast reveals botanical mysteries–another Octopus tree on the left among windswept evergreens!

Cape Meares Cliff Trail
Cliff Trail featuring Octopus Tree on left

These rocks were part of a school science project this spring where the 5th-grade class created a replica of the solar system on the Centennial Trail in Nine Mile Falls.

Moon Mysteries

Who can resist the mysteries of the moon?

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” ~ Neil Armstrong.

The mysteries of moonshine must be tasted to understand…

Got moonshine?
Got moonshine?

Mysterious Makings

Things made with human hands can also be a mystery.

Sometimes, items captured by our lenses might cause us to scratch our heads. Brodie photobombed this pic last Halloween. The two-headed hummer was a double exposure with my camera. Mysterious? Lucky? Weird?

“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Inspiring Photo Challenges This Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

How To Participate in Sunday Stills Photo Challenge

Sunday Stills weekly photo challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post. Feel free to share posts about anything creative.

  • Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.

This Week’s Featured Bloggers

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared photos. I add these all week as new links are posted.

Thank you for almost 30 links last week to the “glass” theme, three of them new! It is always a mystery to know what might inspire bloggers to a particular theme!

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Themes for November are ready to view on my Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Page. This page is updated monthly and I am open to YOUR theme ideas, too!

Join me next Sunday on the trail and have a wickedly mysterious week!

Halloween Signature

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113 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: The #Mysterious is a Beautiful Thing

    1. Mysterious isn’t it, Mr Philo? LOL. The stair case belongs to an old historic hotel in Wallace Idaho. We took the tour (we know the new owner) and it is all from the late 1800s. I hope you can find inspiration for the challenge this week 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love your take on the challenge, Terri, it’s really topical for the Halloween “season”. It’s one of my favorites, and I continue to be annoyed by how it is shortened due to the ever-lengthening Christmas season. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, John. I’ll be over to your post shortly. I tried to stay away from the usual Halloween themes and mysterious works this year and came out perfectly for lens-artists, too 🙂 Sadly I bought a couple of Christmas decorations at Costco in September! Sheesh!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great photo choices – so many ways to look at mysterious objects. I’m so jealous of your moon photos, the details are great. The hummingbird photo is fascinating, I love it when those things happen and the photo can be used instead of discarded. On a side note…does it take a long time to clean up the Tamarack droppings? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Shelley, I’m glad you enjoyed the mysteries of the PNW. Good question on the tamarack needles–I haven’t owned one yet besides these juvies, but their needles are a lot more delicate than the average pine needle. These may blow away with the wind, or in a couple of years when they grow, hubby will have more raking to do!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful photos from start to finish, Terri. Perfect for Halloween. The pink moon was my favorite, but so many of them caught my attention. And I love the quotes you chose. Einstein intrigues me no end with the way he viewed wonder and imagination. And Armstrong lived a life inspired by awe. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mysterious might be beautiful, but you’re not getting me to stay in that hotel!!! LOL Lovely pics, my friend. I still think I like your view over the ocean better than mine, but mine is DARKER and more MYSTERIOUS! Most of my mysterious pictures are similar. I love the black-and-white view of the path. The digital clock is a super cool picture, too. Very creative. Mine comes out on Wed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We walked through the hotel in Wallace Idaho last May with Dale and Carey (the owner is Carey’s former colleague)…she is in the process of remodeling the whole hotel. The main floor is the Cedar Street coffee bar and lounge–quite the cool place. I would have taken you there if we’d had more time. Thank you, Marsha!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Halloween! I’m the most intrigued by the mysterious ways nature expresses itself sometimes. I love watching odd root systems on trees when I’m out for a hike. Great post Terri!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely ode to Halloween Terri – loved the octopus tree, had never heard of it! Also I was at the same exact point of view in Oregon years ago so that was fun to see!. Happy Halloween – hope your oranges arrive soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are so many mysteries here Terri! As you wait for autumn to arrive we’re waiting for summer and warmer weather to show up as it’s been wet and miserable mostly since we returned home from our travels, (wit only the odd sunny day). Your creativity is well and truly on show in this post. We don’t ‘do’ Halloween like you do, although it’s gaining in popularity but Christmas things are already out on the shelves which is a mystery to me, how can it be almost time for Christmas again??

    Thanks for linking to my post and your comment. As you suggest leaving a link in the comments, here’s mine.

    Mystery photo for #SundayStills

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard spring down under has been under spring like, Debbie. Weird fall here, what is the world coming to, lol! We’ve never been huge fans of Halloween except when the kids were young and we went trick or treating in our neighborhood. I guess Christmas is nearly upon us. 😲

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. It’s a hard building to capture as there are cell towers around it and the lines are always visible. So the fog was a lovely gift. I stopped and pulled over as I came up the hill. It was worth the cold hands.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You have to tell us about the mysterious Midnight Moon drink, Terri. The colour doesn’t make it very appealing, but I zoomed in and saw the alcohol content. One sip and I guess that’s it?

    The stairs in the haunted hotel look creepy even during daylight hours. Can you imagine what it is like at night? I wouldn’t want to try. And seeing those ravens remind me of Mr Hitchcock’s movie ‘The Birds.’ I find that movie mysterious in how they got those birds to perform.

    I’m presenting you with two photos this week. The first is taken from a security camera we had in a previous house. We’ve no idea who those feet belong to as we were away when the picture was taken.

    And the second is of a strange gap that opened up on a path near where we live that spewed up £1 coins every day for a month during the pandemic. During repairs, there was no evidence of where the coins came from.

    Happy Halloween, Terri.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha, Hugh, what’s a little moonshine between friends? This was apple pie flavored and it actually tastes amazing mixed with apple juice or cider, hot or cold. Glad you liked the creepy stairs. That hotel is in Wallace, Idaho and the new owner is refurbishing after years of neglect. The whole town is a historical monument and very cute. Most of the rooms were brothels so you can imagine the ghost stories there!

      OK that footage of the feet on the stairs is beyond creepy as you say you were not home at the time!! And free money, I love it! Good ones, Hugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Weird and wonderful seems to sum most of it up, Terri. Love the colour of those Larch trees. Presumably affected by warmer or wetter weather this year? Just another mystery of nature. Thanks for the link, hon, and happy Halloween!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Terri,
    Your creative mind is marvelous, and only you could come up with a perfect theme for Halloween. It’s Halloween night here, and we have no trick-or-treaters, but that’s ok because I would eat the candy myself, and I don’t need that. Do you have trick-or-treaters at your house? I love your moonshots. This week, I couldn’t find a mysterious picture, but I loved the post. Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, what a nice thing to say, Joe! Last year I used the theme “eerie”, which was fun too! Also, last year, we learned no kids come around our area, too dark and rural, I guess. Thank you and enjoy a quiet evening!


    1. Thank you, Janis, I would have to say my camera was acting mysteriously that day. Actually, I think I had it on as odd setting (burst?) and I got those shots. I learned from a photographer the exact settings to capture the full moon. Enjoy your evening!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice flow to your post and wonderful nature
    Also – the kindness rock reminded me of a guitar pic when I was first scrolling the post! Just at quick glance it had the same shape
    (And maybe I find so many in the dryer I am primed to see guitar pics – hahah)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi – I played bass for a little while but never really into practicing (never found a love for playing and would rather write or create art- and it took me a while to accept this and not feel like I had to play an instrument – and I took guitar lessons numerous times in 90s and finally just realized later why I pulled back so much then too – just not my thing!!)
        But I have a family of musicians and the hubs main weapon (ha) is the guitar and both of his parents were serious musicians and met while getting a degree in music –

        What about you ? Do you okay guitar and flute?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How cool, Yvette! My dad played guitar and mandolin, mom played flute and recorder, little brother played viola and French horn. I never played but I sang in choirs, solos, etc for 25+ years. Still can’t read music– all by ear. I’m like you, more a visual artist 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  12. What a collection of mysterious photos you have here for the spooky season Terri. I liked the Octopus Tree. Very unique looking. There once was a site I came upon while looking to see what a group of a particular bird was called – there were tons of names for various birds and critters. It was an endless list of every critter imaginable. The moon photos were awesome – are you ready to capture some Blood Moon/Eclipse pictures on November 8th?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Doesn’t it figure when there is a full moon or eclipse/partial eclipse again that snow or rain has to rear its ugly head? Our weather has been so mild (73 yesterday) that my neighbor’s two magnolia bushes have buds.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I always love how diverse your selections are, but this collection of mysteries is possibly my most favorite to date! I love the theme itself so much and your photos are so beautiful. Octopus Tree, I hope to see it one day. Fog and trees/forests are my favorite combination. I love your moon mysteries and manmade mysteries as well. Also learned a new word today: unkindness of ravens.

    Liked by 1 person

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