Monday, January 21, 2013

Geo 365: Jan. 21, Day 21: Reflections

Concluding the third week of this project, it seems like a good time to toss out some thoughts I've been having. I started this on a kind of spur-of-the-moment impulse, when I saw Ian Stimpson was finishing up his Rock 366 project at Hypocentre. To the extent I thought about it, I guess my main one was doubt: "I doubt I'll be able to stick with it. I'll get bored with the tedium and drop it."

However, I'm not finding that to be the case, at all. I think there are three main reasons for that. First, without really thinking about it at all, I set up the guidelines in such a way that there's zero pressure. All I need to do is find a decent, interesting picture and post it. I suppose I also have to come up with some kind of title, but even that can just be the date and "Day X," if I'm feeling uninspired. So basically I have the freedom to write as little or as much as I'm inclined. Second, the first week, I hopped around a lot, and was getting frustrated at the sheer amount of time I was spending just paging through folders of various photos taken on various trips- mostly with Dana Hunter, but a few others as well. I don't even know how many there are, but it has to be somewhere around three thousand. Then on week 2, again without much consideration, I ended up focusing on aspects of Marys Peak geology I hadn't really addressed before. Suddenly, I only had a hundred or so photos to choose from, and the process was much quicker. I was mentally thinking of it as "Marys Peak Week" by the middle. So this past week, I decided to focus on a pair of outcrops along Highway 97, about an hour north of Klamath Falls, and again, the process went very quickly and smoothly. I expect I'll mostly stick with that: a relatively restricted spot or area each week, simply to narrow the range of choices I have. So far, it's been more or less randomly chosen just from spots I think are particularly pretty and geologically interesting- and lord knows, Oregon has no shortage of those. Finally, the response from the geoblogosphere has been very warm and positive. The Geo 365 series is consistently in 3 or more of the top 5 posts in terms of page views over the previous week.  It's kind of nice seeing Sunday Funnies Editions from 2, 3, or 4 years ago getting kicked down a bit. And it's nice to know that people are enjoying what I'm doing *now,* too.

So when all is said and done, this project is turning out to be easier, more fun and more rewarding than I could have imagined. I'm not in the least bit tired of it. On the other hand, I'm not ignoring the fact that I still have over 94 percent of the year to go yet. :-P

So enough with the introspection. Above is a photo of Clear Lake (Linn County- Wikipedia tells me there are 11 Clear Lakes in Oregon), the source of the McKenzie River. It was formed about 3000 years ago when a lava flow blocked that stream, flooding the valley floor. Trees drowned by that inundation are still standing on the lake's bottom, and due to the incredible clarity of the water, are easily visible from the shore or dock. There's an example of one just below the reflection of the viney maples in the left-middle of the photo.

While this is a spot I've been meaning to visit for years, it kept getting set aside in favor of other destinations. And while I can't say I'm "glad" I put it off so long, I will say visiting for the first time on a gloriously warm, sunny, early October day, when the leaves of the deciduous trees were in full color, wasn't a bad choice at all. Nothing could have prepared me for the beauty of this area.

Photo unmodified. October 9, 2012. FlashEarth Location.


Lyle said...

Do you have pictures of Fort Rock? That might make an interesting series as there is an interesting story on how it got that way? Another place is winter rim/summer valley.

Lockwood said...

Yes to both Fort Rock and Winter Rim/Summer Lake area, as well as a few other places in between and nearby.

Lyle said...

Thanks. I visited Fort Rock once and think the story of of volcanic eruptions thru at least lake mud if not lake water is interesting and at least somewhat unusual.