Saturday, July 30, 2011

Time Passes

In a bag of tools at Dad's cabin was a hatchet. Looked at the sheath - BSA stamped on it. A thirty-year old hatchet, purchased for camping with the Boy Scouts when I was in middle-school. I never felt any particular attachment to it, but .. it went home with me.

The blade is still sharp. Gonna take care of that sucker. Perhaps my boys will find it in a bag of tools when I pass on.

My grandparents lived near here, for a while. Farming alfalfa [1] then selling / servicing irrigation equipment. Yvonne or Michelle took a picture of it - better than this one but from the same vantage point - blown up to poster size - and it hung on the wall at Dad's cabin. Now it's on the wall of my cube at work. The description of how a tuff ring forms caught my eye ...

... created when basalt magma rose to the surface and encountered the wet muds of a lake bottom. Powered by a jet of steam, molten basalt was blown into the air, creating a fountain of hot lava particles and frothy ash. The pieces and blobs of hot lava and ash rained down around the vent and formed a saucer-shaped ring of lapilli tuff and volcanic ash sitting like an island in the lake waters.

Kaboom. Nothing you'd want to stand around and watch.

That corner of the country is like that: a constant reminder of violent events in the not-so-very distant past [2].

Geologic calamity in slow motion.

[1] It does not make any kind of sense to pipe water to the desert for plants that one will turn into cow food. But there it is.

[2] And the not-so distant past. It was quite a deal, watching ash cover Vancouver inches deep.

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