Memorial Day was a beautiful Spring day! We woke up to a beautiful morning full of sunshine. It was time for a road trip! We decided to drive to the Palouse and visit Palouse Falls. Three hours later we were waiting in line to enter the Palouse Falls State Park. Many others had the same idea as we did. The drive and wait were worth it.
This image is taken from above the Palouse River just below the Palouse Falls. Recent rain created the green foliage on the plateau and canyon walls. Normally the scenery is pretty brown. The sky was covered by a patchwork of puffy white clouds. The scene was a a gift!
Can you imagine these falls during the Ice Age Missoula Floods? Water was rushing over the top flat rim of the plateau at 70 miles per hour! The existing falls is but a small trickle of what was.
The amazing geological history of Eastern Washington continues to fascinate me. The current falls are 187 feet tall. The Ice Age Flood falls were about twice in height. Basalt on the canyon walls was created by a series of lava flows between 15 & 18 million years ago. The Missoula Floods creating the canyon occurred 12 to 15 thousand years ago (just a spec of time in our geologic history).
Abstract 1: Barnet Newman’s “Achilles” – National Gallery of Art
Abstract 2: National Gallery of Art – East Wing, Exterior
Abstract 3: Volcanic Cliff
Simple lines of abstract art are intriguing. They can be found everywhere. Some are works created in art mediums (paintings, sculptures, etc.). Others are created by architectural forms. Still others are found in nature.
Abstract 1 is an oil painting created by Barnet Newman titled “Achilles”. I stood and looked at this piece for quite a long time. Rather than try to figure out “what it is meant to be”, I tried to focus on what feeling it brought out in me. The red made me feel a little anxious. I did not resonate with this piece.
Abstract 2 is a photograph of the exterior of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. I was walking along, looked up and saw these contrasting shapes of shadows and light. It just grabbed me.
Abstract 3 is a photograph of the sheer basalt cliffs cut by the Palouse River during the Ice Age Floods. Nature’s artwork stops me in my tracks. Sometimes I just do not want to leave. It instills me to think about how our would was formed and just enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding me.
This image is a close-up of the giant ripples on the West Bar near Crescent City on the Columbia River as showed on my previous entry. These giant ripples were created during the Ice Age Floods as the Columbia River flowed over the gravel bar. They are 35 feet high, spaced at 150 -200 feet apart. It is amazing what water can do!
How calm the Columbia River looks. Fifteen thousand years ago, during the Ice Age Floods, it wasn’t quite like this. At that time the Columbia was flowing at the top of the basalt cliffs seen in the distance. The West Bar shown in the middle of this image is comprised of gravel. rock, and other sediments. It was part of the backwater created as the Columbia raged toward the left and then back down through the gorge. The surface of the bar is covered with giant ripples around thirty feet high.
This image was taken above Crescent Bar looking southwest.
It is hard to comprehend how enormous the Missoula Ice Age Floods were. The edge of the bluff in the top left hand corner is approximately 200 feet high. The water level during the Missoula Floods was about 200 feet above the top of the mesa. The distance across the Drumheller Channels was 8-11 miles wide. The water is estimated to have moved through here at 50+ miles/hour. The landscape left behind is amazing. My mind wanders about contemplating what it must have been like.
This image was taken at the overlook off the main road running through the reserve.