Thursday, December 31, 2009

Friday photo, special Oregon edition

Phantom Ship, Crater Lake, Oregon. October, 1994.

In honor of Oregon's return to the Rose Bowl, a photo from Oregon, taken during the season they last won a Pac Ten championship.

There seems to be something about blowing the tops off mountains that results in fascinating scenery. Oh, it takes a few years, as a visit to Mount St. Helens will remind you, but eventually you get a Yellowstone or a Crater Lake. Crater Lake is nicely circular - about 5x6 miles across - and contains some of the clearest and bluest water you'll ever see (although you wouldn't know it from this photo, taken on a cloudy day). The water clarity is known to fluctuate, but in 1997, according to the Wikipedia article, a black-and-white disk was visible over 140 below the surface. Try that in Lake Michigan!

The lake is less than 8000 years old, meaning that the explosion of Mount Mazama took place after North America was peopled and would have been the most exciting thing that ever happened in the neighborhood. The Klamath people's legends describe the mountain being destroyed in a great battle between two powerful spirits, so it's entirely plausible that an eyewitness memory of the violent event has been handed down through some 77 centuries.

The Phantom Ship island gets its name because of its resemblance to a ghostly ship, plus the fact that, under variable lighting conditions, it can be rather easy to lose sight of.


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Scott Hanley said...

Um, thanks ... I guess. I rather like some of the early posts, like this one.