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It Wasn’t Bluffing

I took my boys to Discovery Park for a little lovely geology. We’ve done this sort o’ thing before, but it wasn’t quite as exciting as this.

Started off rather quietly. Nice, leisurely breakfast at a Thai food place, ramble through the meadows and down the bluff. Mind you, there was a bit of foreshadowing.

This sign is 100% correct, as we shall see later.

Unstable bluffs were the whole reason for being there. I love the bluffs at Discovery Park. There are few places around Puget Sound that show off our glacial legacy so well. It’s a colorful layer cake of sediments that record thousands of years of local history, from the pre-Cordilleran floodplains to the glacial outwash at the top. And then there’s the small matter of the glacial lake in the middle… but we’ll get to the gifties it left in a moment.

The obligatory artsy shot of the Sound.

Late summer flowers, although I suppose these are now fall flowers, and the Sound. Quite lovely. We paused for admiration, and walked on a bit, and South Bluff came within view, and it was a kids-in-completely-unexpected-candy-store moment.

Now, at this juncture, I wish to refresh your memories. We’ve been to Discovery Park before.

South Bluff, October 2010

I haven’t been keeping up on the local news. Which is nice, because then, this came as a rather a bit of a surprise, which probably wasn’t quite so delightful to normal people but was pretty exciting for Ryan and I:

The new South Bluff

Yes, it appears there was a bit of an incident with the Lawton Clay. The old bluff ain’t what it used to be – but then, it never is. Thing about bluffs is this: they change. Not always so drastically, but they change frequently. It’s why building on a bluff with an ocean view is best seen as a temporary venture.

Ryan inspecting the invasion.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get right round it because the tide was mostly in, but if Seattle gives us one more nice day before endless rain, I’ll get a full set of before-and-after photos for ye. I’d already meant to do a nice set of posts on our local geology’s propensity for slip-sliding down from where it is wanted to where it isn’t. This shall illustrate it nicely.

Add it to the endless list of things I wish to write. Sigh.

Right. So that’s one thing Darwin loved: geology. We found another, of course, this being Discovery Park, which has got a beach, and other things beginning with b.

Barnacles with odd ideas in housing

These barnacles have taken up residence on an aluminum can. Odd little buggers. When our other Ryan showed these to me, my eyes did that little WTF jiggle.

Well. That’s one way to recycle, I suppose.

At journey’s end, we took quite good advantage of the timer on my camera to have a bit of a portrait.

Ryan, Dana and Ryan – aka The Doctor, Amy and Rory. Heh.

And a traditional duet.

The happy geobloggers

Such a beautiful day, with such beautiful people, and unexpected delights, and the sun. Lovely!

Comments

  1. says

    Very cool. I’ve never been to that part of the U.S., but would love to make my way there at some point. One of the things I love most about travel is seeing how astonishingly different the earth is from place to place, which in addition to geology includes geography, ecology, and of course human culture. Thanks for sharing that — you’ve whet my appetite for a visit to Puget Sound.

  2. ilex says

    Nice! I’ll admit, I always took a little sadistic glee in watching the unstable bluffs creep closer and closer to the San Diego McMansions. I can’t wait to make it further up the coast next year, and see what the Pacific is up to up there!

  3. rq says

    Looks like a lot of fun – and great weather! Will take a stab at flower id later, if someone doesn’t beat me to it.

  4. Trebuchet says

    That Ryan guy’s pretty tall!

    The thing people persistently refuse to understand when they build houses on our bluffs is that IF the house is eventually going to end up on the beach or in the sea is not open to debate. It’s simply a question of when. This being geology, albeit relatively rapid geology, most of them get away with it for quite a while. Some do not.

    The flower looks very familiar but I’ve got no identification.

  5. Onamission5 says

    I love how in the 2010 photo, you can see at the bottom of the bluff exactly where it’s about to give way. That protrusion combined with the vertical lines, I have seen that before. It looks for all the world like pressure is building up from behind that section, prompting it to finally slip off the bluff face and into the water.

    So cool.

  6. says

    What a change from what I remember of that bluff before! Though granted I find those barnacles just as fascinating. ;-)

    It was such a pleasure to meet you. Especially as a reader of your wonderful blog. Sigh. Dear readers, she is as cool in person as in blog form.