An Aleatory Assemblage.

It’s “A-is-for-aleatory” time at thetompostpile.

Aleatory is a ten-dollar word for “random”. Here’s a definition: Depending on the throw of dice or on chance; random. Relating to or denoting music or other forms of art involving elements of random choice (sometimes using statistical or computer techniques) during their composition, production, or performance. The composer John Cage loved the aleatory. He loved the I Ching, too.

This morning I asked my iPhoto for a group of pictures with a particular ID number. Here’s what came up.


Propane tank in winter. An upside-down plastic Folger’s coffee container protects the shutoff valve from moisture, which can mess up the valve. A handy hint for you people with propane tanks.


We were visiting friends in California. For some reason I found these goat barn backlit cobwebs interesting. The web’s stickum has been coated with goat dust. The actual location of this web was Prunedale. Our friends call their place the “Prunederosa”.


That a photo of the ferry should come up is not surprising, considering how much time I spend on the ferry, and how often there’s a photo worth taking. Here, the ferry docks in Vineyard Haven on a foggy morning. The blocky object in the horizon line is the “Stone Church”. It’s made out of stone because after two fires, on two different occasions, had leveled previous wooden churches, the congregation decided to rebuild with a fireproof material.


Nor should it be a surprise to find a Costa Rica photo. Here, from the bus window, we see silhouetted trees on the approach to the Cerro de la Muerte.


More Costa Rica. Sunset. Osa Peninsula. Can’t you hear those palm tree leaves rustling in the breeze? On the horizon is Isla Caña. Caña means “spring”, as in water. Here and there along the Caña coast, streams and waterfalls plunge directly into the Pacific Ocean.


And last, we have a small grandson, walking the path towards the Vermont College of Fine Arts ( ), where his mother works. He’s a lovely child. He’s quirky, active, possessed of advanced vocabulary and a wicked good imagination. He will be a very interesting man when he grows up.

This was fun!
I’ve not done one of these in a while. For previous examples, see:

If you have lots of photos on your computer or device, you can make an aleatory album also.


Example. My program ID’s pictures with a four-digit number. At a random number generator site ( here’s one: ) I asked for a random 4-digit number between 1001 and 9999. This morning’s random number was 1039. The number, inserted into the search window, yielded the six photos that make up this post.

One response to “An Aleatory Assemblage.

  1. Lucky numbers! I love the snow on top of the coffee can! It reminds me of “Gary’s Weather Forecasting Stone” (just google it if you don’t know). Also love the tree perspective.

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