Salt Forms

The salt bin grinsThe salt bin opposite my flat provides me with a suprising amount of intrigue. Somewhere down the line, it filled up with water enough to become distended – or became distended enough to fill with water – so now it sits there and forever grins invitingly, like some kind of fat plastic crocodile.

It’s permanently full up with water now – intensely saline water, of course, which does some pretty interesting things when it’s stagnant… when someone dumped an old paperback in there, for example, it quickly became encrusted with those characteristically square salt crystals, like the ones you can buy at fancy delicatessens (‘fleur de sel‘)… although not so appetising.

Jagged salt spike layerLater, days of intense, steady sunshine led to some fascinatingly rich crystal formations around the borders of the salt bin, as an inch or two of the water evaporated.

Then, most recently, a combination of wear and tear with hot, hot sun and heavy rains have led the bin to start cracking at the sides, sweating its saline drips in waves to leave a story of the weather inscribed on its sides.

I suppose this would be a good place to write about the way crystals derive their shapes from the way their component molecules stack together, or about the echoes of geological forms in small-scale emergences like this.

…maybe some other time.

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