Monday, June 29, 2009

A "Year" on Mt. Rainier

So, it turns out Floyd cheated a little bit on his "year". He did spend four-seasons on Mt. Rainier, but the last one, the fall, actually occured three years after the winter, spring and summer. The seasons are different than what those of us who live in temperate climates might expect. As was pointed out to Schmoe, there is not really a spring or summer on the mountain, just 10 months of winter contained by fall. Nevertheless, flowers bloomed and animals came out of hibernation during the year long cycle. Reading about the microclimates on the mountain made clear that "spring" might come in June in some areas, and August in others. It reminds me of my own south-facing home. Flowers bloom in the front yard about 3 weeks before those in the back. And our snow always melts faster than those of our neighbors across the street. Reading this book I had to keep in mind that while the events described took place in the early 1920s, the writing was done in the late 1950s, and the reading done 50 years after that. Keeping these three perspectives in check was sometimes a challenge. The descriptions of the natural surroundings were awe inspiring. I wonder if people can even write this way any more, since it is so easy to take a picture now and just show others what you saw.

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