Seventeen Views of Yellowstone

One family went all out and each of them, dad, mom, and two kids, wore full on industrial painting masks, black rubber face part with two large filter cartridges, looking like something from Word War I. They wore these as they walked the boardwalks around the geyser basins. You could only see their eyes and the parents' eyes looked out wide open, terrified.

0 Comments

Fleeing the Flow

It could be worse. A few thousand years ago lava splashed and bubbled up out of the ground in what is now Idaho and spread out over six hundred and eighteen square miles. One single lava flow running about thirty miles long.

0 Comments

At Dead Indian Pass

I pull off at an overlook in the mountains of northern Wyoming, my wife and youngest daughter in my FJ Cruiser, my oldest daughter and her boyfriend pulling in ahead of me in their Honda Element. As we are standing, stretching, starting to move toward the overlook and toward the…

0 Comments

All Fossils Have A Story

A first visit to the John Day Fossil Beds, in the dried-out hills in eastern Oregon, is a surprise, the hills of banded red and yellow and black, pulp science fiction book covers made real. But another surprise awaits in these hills. The area is heavy with fossils and a…

0 Comments

Climate Change In Color at the John Day Fossil Beds

When people think of Oregon they tend to think of rain, a sort of never-ending rain, over forty inches a year on average. But eastern Oregon is all but a desert, receiving a third of Portland's average, and some of Oregon really is a desert, with less than ten inches…

0 Comments

Crater Lake Blue

A chemist, Mas Subramanian, and his grad student at the Oregon State University discovered a new blue pigment, similar to ultramarine but more stable. There are not many blue pigments out there--the last one discovered, Cobalt Blue, was discovered in 1802, although impure forms had been used long before. The…

0 Comments

Smaller Cameras

I need a smaller camera. When I was eighteen years old and poor, working for $3.25 at the local mall, I walked into Metzger’s, a camera store in Akron, Ohio. It was a very large store in a very large building—they served all of the big corporate accounts. I was…

0 Comments

Bigger Cameras

I need a bigger camera. Growing up my primary camera was a Hasselblad, shooting negatives six by six centimeters. Medium format. Later my primary camera grew to four by five inches, sometimes to eight by ten, making negatives referred to as “sheets” because of their size. Then my camera got…

0 Comments