I am still not able to get out and about much, so I thought I would do a little series of some of the National Parks that I have visited over the years. My first entry is from the Great Smokies National Park in Tennessee.
Springtime in the Smokies is a glorious time of the year. Dogwoods are starting to bloom and light green leaves are emerging from the deciduous forests as seen from this image taken near Cades Cove. The early morning lights turn the light green leaves into an almost gold color.
Roaring streams in lush green stream beds with multiple waterfalls grace the park. Wildlife, including black bears, are becoming active. Morning fog covers much of the area and gradually dissolves to present misty vignettes. Distant hills are covered with a misty haze giving rise to their namesake “Smoky” Mountains.
On a clear day, it is hard to beat the drive down to Bend, Oregon from Eastern Washington along US Highway 97. Leaving the Yakima Valley, the snow peak of Mt. Rainer is in the NW, and Mt. Adams overlooks the valley from the west. Reaching Goldendale, Mt. Adams is to the NW and Mt. Hood is to the SW. Turning the bend on Highway 97 heading down into the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Hood is dead ahead (as in this image). Climbing back out of the Gorge to the Oregon Plateau, Mt. Adams is to the north and Mt. Hood is due west. Continuing south past Shaniko, one sees a little turn out with a clear view of the Cascade Range. From here, Mt. Adams is in the far north, Mt. Hood is in the NW, and Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three-fingered Jack are to the west and SW. Traveling south out of Madras Mt. Jefferson rises prominently above the farm lands to the west. Approaching Redmond, the Three Sisters and Broken Top are seen to the west and SW. Then Mt. Bachelor rises up as you enter the Bend area. It is a pretty impressive four hour drive on a clear day, which is pretty common in sunny Eastern Washington and Oregon!
“Medeval Rhetoric” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
Viewing and thinking about the old Education Hall (now Miller Hall) grotesques makes me appreciate what a well-rounded liberal arts education would be. Education has many dimensions with various perspectives from different points of view ranging across cultures, times, and topics.
I feel a little remorse not being exposed to this level of learning as I progressed through a technical degree. I missed a lot during my formal engineering and business education. Over the years I have filled in many of the gaps through reading and recently on-line classes. I currently enjoy viewing lectures from the “Great Courses” on-line education programs. It is never too late to continue learning.
This posting will close my grotesque series for the time being.
“Grammar Teacher and Students” Miller Hall, University of Washington
We need more of these!
I remember grammar classes in school when growing up from grade school through the first couple of years in high school. They were not my favorite, but I learned a lot. Throughout my professional career, clear writing was imperative and essential to communicate. I am thankful for the grammar education I received in my early years.
Now, grammar is not formally taught in many of our schools. Much of our communication is through social media. Most of it is extremely poorly written and sloppy.
“Astronomy Grotesque” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
Astronomy is a topic that I have always been interested. During my years at the University as an engineering student, I did not have much of an opportunity to take elective classes outside of engineering-related disciplines if I wanted to graduate in 4 years.
I had to wait until I graduated to take a couple of astronomy classes at the University of Washington “Experimental College”. Subsequently I have taken on-line classes through the “Great Courses” to satisfy my curiosity. There is always opportunity to learn something new. Now, I need to learn how to apply a little creative photography to it.
And we are now laying the foundation to a manned landing on Mars!
“The Fish Teacher” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
In this grotesque on Miller Hall, the Roman god Neptune is depicted with a fish over his head. I have spent a couple of hours trying to research the connection between Neptune, a fish, and teaching. No luck so far…
“The Phoenician Teacher” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
This grotesque, the Phoenician Teacher, is also located on the third floor of Miller Hall. Miller Hall, built in 1922, was originally “Education Hall”, thus being decorated with education-related figures. Carl Gould was the building’s architect. Alonzo Victor Lewis created the 44 sculptures adorning the building.
“Chinese Teacher (Confucius) Grotesque” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
The Quadrangle, located in the “Upper Campus” of the University of Washington, is the center point for the classic Collegiate Gothic architecture on campus. This was were the non-engineering students and all the attractive girls had their classes. They did not allow engineers to grace the halls of these classic buildings. We were all too busy with our slide-rules. In the six years that I attended the UW, I never had a class there.
Even though I did not attend any classes there, I had ample time to stroll through the Quad on the way to the Chemistry and Physics Buildings and the Suzzallo Library. While doing so, I would occasionally look up at the strange figures on the buildings. I always called them gargoyles. But as I discovered later, they are really grotesques. They are differentiated from gargoyles in that gargoyles have water coming out of them from rain down spouts.
For the next several postings I will focus on a few of these pieces of art.
“Bright and Shiny” is what Mary wanted for her Cherry Allee. It was one of the first criteria that we established as we planned our design for the “lower 40.” It has now become a reality … at least the start of one. Colors are constantly changing as one set of blooms expire and another one starts to bloom. Our target was to have a continuous bloom from mid/late spring through the fall. So far it is working.
On a bright, July day, the yellow flowers are like little suns, waving in a slight breeze and looking toward me from different angles.
The Earth gives us little miracles, like flowers that drink in the sun, radiating their color and vibrance to any willing passerby.
The little voices in my head say, “We don’t need to understand it all; just look at the pretty yellow flowers . . .”