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Mar 23 2011

Oregon Geology Bonus Features: Geologic Art Interlude

Did I say last week it was the end of Oregon Geology?  Well, consider this the DVD collection, complete with extras!

We stopped over at Washington Park the morning we were in Portland, and found some delicious geologic art. 

Les AuCoin Plaza

One of the most striking is Les AuCoin Plaza, near the MAX station.  You like light rail, thank former Rep. AuCoin, who was instrumental in making it happen.  This plaza does him total justice.  It’s beautiful, for one thing.  The enormous columns of basalt (say high to our old friend the CRB!) are just wonderfully worked in.  You can really get up-close and personal, inspect them, get a feel for how massive they are.

And there’s so much more.

Here’s another view of columns, above the Plaza:

Columns and Benches

This is in a sandy sort of amphitheater.  You can sit on the stone flag benches, or on the columns, and just feel the solidity of the rock around you.  Definitely recommended for a geology buff.  There’s nothing quite like sitting with solid geology in an urban setting.  And those of you who fell prey to the columns meme will adore them.

Down by the World Forestry Center, across the way from the MAX rail station, you’ll find some enormous chunks of petrified wood.  I mean huge.  It’s hard to tell because I didn’t bloody put anything in there for scale, but these things are at least waist high.  Here’s the biggest:

Enormous Hunk o’ Petrified Wood

And a closeup:

Delicious Ancient Wood!

I love the colors.  It’s like a sunset captured in stone that used to be a tree.  Amazing stuff, that.

There’s another one there that isn’t so much about color as texture:

Looks Like a Crocodile

Wish I knew what it was, but I love that it looks so much like crocodile skin. 

And, of course, this being the Northwest, there’s plants growing in it:

Ivy and Ancient Tree

Stuff like this really delights my synapses, especially when it’s unexpected.  We’d only gone down there to see the geologic core.  We had no idea we’d be running into geologic art at every turn.  Really, really beautiful stuff.

Right, then.  There’s that.  And if I can tear myself away from Doctor Who and fiction writing long enough this week, I’ll get my research done for the next installment, in which you’ll finally get to see the reason why we were at Washington Park in the first place: the geologic core displayed at the MAX rail station.  You’re going to go “Squee!”  I guarantee it.

3 comments

  1. 1
    Suzanne

    squeee — more oregon geology!!!

  2. 2
    iota

    Such a beautiful article on the birthday of William Smith, the "Father of Geology".http://www.ffrf.org/news/day/

  3. 3
    Silver Fox

    Mmm… love the columnar benches!

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