I was never able to discern what the larger shape was actually composed of. It looked like cork, but when I touched it after taking the photo, it was spongier. In any case, with the tiny sea reed it created a lovely still life. The two different textures are what drew me to the arrangement.
This photo demonstrates a challenge I have with many of the photos that I take; it is often difficult to determine a strong horizontal or vertical axis, as well as center. I do minimal processing of the photos that I take: vignette centering, as is the case here, sometimes enhanced contrast, but really very little. I am a bit of a stickler, though, for visual balance, but it is often not easy to find it or make it happen. For example, the reed appears tilted down towards the right at first glance, but its top line is as close to horizontal as possible. Perhaps a bit of my compulsive nature is revealed in this disclosure: yes, I know nature is not neat. Neither is the junk drawer in my kitchen. However, like the Dutch masters liked a balanced still life painting, I do like a balanced photograph. This one is an example of one that was a challenge.