Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ice and Fire

Olympic National Park has been changing its website, and the lovely little graphic showing the advance and retreat of the last glaciation before the present, the Vashon ice, has gone, along with the pages it was set in that gave a quick sketch of the geology of the Olympic Peninsula. Luckily it was still possible to sneak up on it using the Wayback Machine. Found the pages I remembered (1) (2), and saved copies of the key graphics:

I love the moment thirteen or so thousand years ago when the mountain glaciers in the Olympics had retreated, but the big ice still was damming all the outflow waters into lakes. The USGS does have a fine suite of pages about Olympic geology, including a nice one about glaciation with another view of the ice. (The animation link is broken, but the .mov file is still out there.)

As to fire, the Basin Complex Fire is still grinding its way towards Carmel Valley. It blew through Tassajara on Thursday afternoon last week, where five monks, alone against 30 foot flames, managed to save Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. The photo of the five fire monks is everywhere (cuke.com had it first, and it's still the only post-fire picture out there). Shundo's Last Set of Fire Photos shows the final preparations, the Forest Service's sudden decision to evacuate, and the retreat up the road (protected by water bombers) of the other 15 residents then in Tassajara. It does not show the moment that Graham Ross, Mako Voelkel, David Zimmerman, Steve St├╝cky and Colin Gipson decided to decline evacuation, turn back, establish themselves in the safe space prepared, and keep the pumps running...

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