"Name that photo" answer:
It started out as a pan of sugar syrup meant for the hummingbird feeders (1 part sugar to 4 parts water), which I usually simmer for 5 minutes or so. But this time I forgot to set the kitchen timer, and it wasn't until the house began to fill with smoke that I realized something was wrong! The burnt syrup was overflowing the pan like Caltiki the Immortal Monster, bubbling and seething and smoking... (The pan may never be the same - though I have another pan that suffered the same fate a few years back, and which, after much scrubbing, has almost returned to normal, so perhaps there's still hope.)
While the bubbling blackened sugar-syrup was actually rather dramatically beautiful to look at, it was also a reminder of why I've taken to thinking of my kitchen timer as my Most Valued Appliance - without it, odds are fair that I'd have burned the house down before now. I'm so used to setting it whenever I put anything on the stove that I still can't understand how I missed it this time, but perhaps I was due another little object lesson in kitchen safety!