“Looking Up the Throat” Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
What an amazing sight from the Johnson Observation Center! The open throat of the mountain takes my breath away and draws me in. I stand in awe looking at the quiet scene, with my imagination going wild thinking of what the observers at this site must have thought and felt when the mountain erupted over forty years ago.
Nature is magical! It renews itself. Out of a devastated landscape, life emerges. I wish I had taken photographs when Karen and I visited the devastated mountain twenty plus yeas ago. Everything was grey and brown, mud and ash. It reminded me of what I thought the moon’s landscape was like.
Now, life is emerging everywhere. The reds, oranges, yellows, and purples of the wildflowers scattered about breathe life into the landscape. The greens below are young trees that have sprouted from seeds that have been brought to the surface by the small ground animals that survived the blast underground and from returning birds dropping seeds from above. Life is a miracle! My spirits lifted as I looked down over the valley below. My imagination looked forward to picture a natural forest that will return in the centuries to come.
This image was taken on Johnson Ridge with Mt. St. Helens at my back. It shows the path of the destruction caused by the hot gases from the eruption. Trees were blasted down for miles. The little toothpicks on the far ridges were once towering firs. Wildflowers and grasses have rejuvenated life in the area. The contrasts between devastation and renewed life are beautiful and uplifting to my spirit.
Lupine and Mt. St. Helens’ Crater from Johnson Ridge
Mt. St. Helens eruption blasted directly over Johnson Ridge where this photo was taken. The landscape was devastated, Nothing was left standing or living. Now the hill sides are covered with wildflowers and small trees. This lupine stands defiant in front of the mountain.
This is the devastated north face of Mt. St. Helens, 37 years after it exploded on May 18, 1980. The beautiful white symmetric Mountain cone is gone. The evolution of our earth continues. The last time I was up to see the mountain was five years after it erupted. At that time, we saw the start of life returning. How much it has changed in the 32 subsequent years. In my next several posts, I will try to convey the changing life that has transpired.