Monday, November 28, 2011

A SQUAWKING BIRD AND A NEW LAKE


Our parakeet lived in a cage that hung from a floor stand.  Our cat enjoyed bumping the pole to make the cage rock and the bird squawk.

One night in August my brother and I were awakened by shrieking from our bird.  His cage was swinging, but no cat was there to take the blame.  The next morning we learned of a massive earthquake in the Yellowstone Park area about 300 miles away.

(news photo of a highway in the quake zone)
The quake measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.  
It was said to be the largest known earthquake
 ever to hit the United States in recorded history.

Fast forward (ahem) several decades.  
On our return home from West Yellowstone, Montana,

DH took the route past Hebgen Lake

so he could check out the formation of ice on the water.  
Fishermen are peculiar, but aren’t we all in our own way.

Not far down the highway is another lake called Quake Lake.  It was created that night in August when the earth shook and big hunk of of Sheep Mountain broke loose

and swept across the narrow valley, 
filling the canyon and damming the Madison River.

The face of the mountain is still void of most vegetation.   
Trunks of trees that once grew high above the river 
can still be seen rising out of the water of Quake Lake.

Several groups camping along the river were buried so deep that no attempt was made to find them.  Twenty-eight, (give or take two or three depending on how they are counted) people lost their lives in the Yellowstone Earthquake.

A visitor’s center is built on the dirt and rocks deposited by the land slide.  Near the building is a huge rock that bears a plate with information and a memorial to those who lost their lives in the catastrophe.

The area still shakes with earthquake tremors.  DH tells of standing on the ice of Hebgen Lake trying to catch fish when the low rumble of seismic activity rolls across the valley and the ice cracks and rattles.

20 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

how terribly sorry about the campers killed by such a freak occurence! (poor scared bird, too!)

Dawn said...

Interesting the bird felt it!
Tragic...life takes awful turns at times....nature is powerful!

(And yes...you are welcome to that barn for painting:D)

Debbie said...

wow...mother nature, she is powerful!!

we had a quake in new jersey, not to long ago. it was a "moving" experience!!

fifi said...

How scary! But your scenery is SO spectacular, beaustiful. What an amzing place to live!

jhopes70 said...

WOW interesting ...
Logo Designs

Buttons said...

Love your lead in, clever.That is a beautiful place and it breaks my heart people in that beautiful surrounding disappearing.
I can't get past the he stands on ice which is bad enough in my mind(never liked ice fishing) but then the ground is rumbling below him. Yup he is a true fisherman. B

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yet another instance of a cat getting suspected of something he did not do!

TALON said...

How tragic for those poor lost souls. And how eerie to see the trees poking through the newly formed lake like that! I've only felt two earthquake tremors in my life-time and both were so very minor. I can't imagine one of that scale. Nature can truly bring us to our knees, can't she?

Jeannelle said...

Interesting photos and story.

Jill said...

A chilling reminder of the force of nature Leenie. I certainly wouldn't want to be standing on a frozen lake in the middle of an earth tremor!
We did have a brief tremor here in the middle of the night - it woke me, I thought the cat had escaped from the kitchen and jumped on the bed - it was a bit spooky.

Mama Zen said...

This kind of freaks me out. My area of the country has been having almost daily earthquakes for the past month or so. I'm in Oklahoma; I'm not supposed to have to deal with earthquakes!

CeeCee said...

Amazing! I can't believe I've never heard of that earthquake, especially with the quakes in Oklahoma. Seems like the ones that happen "where they aren't supposed to" are the ones that really stick in your head.

Alica said...

What incredible power...the only earthquake I ever felt (here in PA) was but a tremor compared to that! How sad about those campers!

Pearl said...

Nice bit of writing and WOW. I had no idea...

Pearl

Pam said...

That is so scarey about those campers! I'd be very uneasy travelling around those parts beautiful as they are.
We are told not to camp in river beds in Australia because of flash flooding, but creating a new lake? Hard to comprehend.

susan m hinckley said...

My husband's family had a cabin at the Hebgen and his grandmother always told terrifying stories of being there during the earthquake. I've never wanted to visit that cabin, truth be told...

Linda Sue said...

Yellowstone - so unstable, bubbly, churning, getting born or going out not sure which but it is a force to be reckoned with! what a way to go- not any one of us get's out alive - I would prefer a mountain falling on me to my own cells ganging up ! Cool post - I guess i will keep my bird...though who would be able to tell if it's just his normal self or a shaken self doing the squawking?
Yellowstone may be our demise as a species- saw it on the discovery channel- when she blows she will also take the moon!

Terry and Linda said...

The loss of life is just horrible. Mother Nature....really is the one in charge, we just think we are or at least we know what is best....

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

SparkleFarkle said...

My God, Leenie, your watercolours are beyond incredibly beautiful! I am so glad you stopped by my blog. If you hadn't, I would have maybe not ever had the opportunity to come across your lovely paintbrushings! AND be able to make a new friend, as well. *happily clicks Leenie's "Follow" button*

Whew! That's some quake story! (I gotta know, though: how's your shaken-not-stirred parakeety pal doing? Back to birdie-normal, I hope, I hope?) And I love all the featured "White Stuff" images! In fact, I ate a couple of them for breakfast as I read this. YUM!

Thank you for opening my "can't-seem to get enough snow, winter, or, for that matter, Christmas EVER" eyes to Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner (Might illustrator Mark Buechnor be her husband? Cool!) I simply love Children's Picture Books! It's the section I always go to at the library (Still checking loads of them out.) and bookstores! (Still buying loads!) I'm headed to Barnes and Noble this afternoon. (That is unless the weatherman gives us is a Snow Day!) Snowmen at Night will definitely be in my little mitties shortly after I enter the store! Thanks again!

Far Side of Fifty said...

The power of the earth to rearrange things is awesome! I don't think I would want to be on that Lake at all. Here in Minnesota the ice cracks and groans but usually from way below zero temperatures. I have seen the Discovery Channel "stuff" too..scary what is under the earth..oh well we won't know what hit us:)