Wednesday, October 24, 2012

And Summer Gave Autumn a Pass, And Went Straight On Into Winter

...and there was much rejoicing. I know that's not the actual quote, but it amuses me, because it's true.

Two weeks ago today, this was the scene at Timberline on Mount Hood:
(My photo, from visit with Dana, 2 weeks ago, and not too much earlier in the afternoon) Here's the scene today, from a webcam:
Notice the change? It's subtle... keep looking!

Here's the scene two weeks ago yesterday, looking over McKenzie Junction:
In the one above, you can see the colors of the maples are very autumnal, but the air temperature was very summery... I suspect upper 60's.
And in this one, the fiery maples remind you the rocks they're sitting on were even more fiery a mere thousand years ago or so.

Some miles back to the west is Tombstone Pass- the crest of the Western Cascades. Here's what it looked like a few minutes ago...
And a few miles to the east is Santiam Junction...
And still further east toward Sisters is Santiam Pass:
I've heard very few complaints so far. The fires on the east side are out, the air smells fresh and full of life, temperatures are definitely cool- I went around the apt last night and closed the windows to a couple inches, and I'll probably close them completely within a week or two. My biggest dislike of winter is the lack of fresh air indoors, but oh well.

But the rapidity and thoroughness of the seasonal transition this past couple of weeks has been astonishing.

And there was much rejoicing...

AW #51: Geopoetry

This month's Accretionary Wedge theme is Geopoetry, hosted by Matt Herod at Geosphere. Now I'm generally not much of a poetry person- it's too dense for me, and I prefer the literalism of prose. But I found this one during a search and after reading a few others, and I really, really like it. It captures the feeling of wonder and awe I feel toward geology and the earth. (Also, when I went to leave a comment on the call for posts, I read the poem submitted in the first comment. You should too. It's amazing!)

Oh Lovely Rock
By Robinson Jeffers

We stayed the night in the pathless gorge of Ventana Creek, up the east fork.
The rock walls and the mountain ridges hung forest on forest above our heads, maple and redwood,
Laurel, oak, madrone, up to the high and slender Santa Lucian firs that stare up the cataracts
Of slide-rock to the star-color precipices.

We lay on gravel and kept a little camp-fire for warmth.
Past midnight only two or three coals glowed red in the cooling darkness; I laid a clutch of dead bay-leaves
On the ember ends and felted dry sticks across them and lay down again. The revived flame
Lighted my sleeping son’s face and his companion’s, and the vertical face of the great gorge-wall
Across the stream. Light leaves overhead danced in the fire’s breath, tree-trunks were seen: it was the rock wall
That fascinated my eyes and mind. Nothing strange: light-gray diorite with two or three slanting seams in it,
Smooth-polished by the endless attrition of slides and floods; no fern nor lichen, pure naked if I were
Seeing rock for the first time. As if I were seeing through the flame-lit surface into the real and bodily
And living rock. Nothing strange...I cannot
Tell you how strange: the silent passion, the deep nobility and childlike loveliness: this fate going on
Outside our fates. It is here in the mountain like a grave smiling child. I shall die, and my boys
Will live and die, our world will go on through its rapid agonies of change and discovery; this age will die,
And wolves have howled in the snow around a new Bethlehem: this rock will be here, grave, earnest, not passive: the energies
That are its atoms will still be bearing the whole mountain above: and I, many packed centuries ago,
Felt its intense reality with love and wonder, this lonely rock.