Friday, October 01, 2004

Blowing off steam

Mt St Helens released a plume of steam at approximately noon local time. Within an hour, the "eruption" was over and only wisps could be seen emerging from the crater.

I remember my mom calling me downstairs early in the morning of May 18, 1980, when St Helens first erupted, flattening over 200 sq miles around it. I sat on the sofa and ate breakfast in my PJs while watching the first natural disaster of my young memory. Days later, an extremely thin layer of dust-like ash settled upon my hometown in South Dakota. Not enough to collect, but enough to wipe off with your finger and go, "Wow". I still have a baby food jar of MSH ash that I bought for $1 at the Hot Springs, SD, mammoth site later that year.

I kind of like volcanos, hurricanes, tidal waves, and tornados. I don't like the deaths and ruined lives that inevitably come in their wake, but I enjoy seeing the earth scour and transform itself. Kind of reminds you that you aren't where you are because of your job, or your health plan, or homeland security, but because the planet is allowing you to be there. And whenever she wants, she'll take you out.

(Mucho gracias to Hekate for grabbing the screenshot from her computer when my browser was unable to connect to the US Forest Service's webcam.)

--On the lighter side, Tomato shares with us this column that asks the question: does god hate Florida?


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