corvi (corivax) wrote,

The blood of Gorgons (photos)

I had no idea before I got up there, but there are a whole bunch of mineral springs on Mount Rainier, puddles that bubble and ripple, oddly hot streams that flow from nowhere, faint sulfur scents, or, most dramatically, the brazen orange-scarlet of iron oxides. I wouldn't say these are pretty pictures. But they're interesting ones.

A large marshy meadow, dotted here and there with bizarre mounds piled up by the springs and garishly painted white or yellow or orange. There's a little sulfur in the air, but not really very much - the scent comes now and again when the wind is just perfect. I was kinda surprised by this, actually - all the hot springs in Yellowstone are very sulfurous, and those are the only other ones I'd seen.

It looks like someone spilled paint. The spring just starts in the middle of the clump of grass. The color is due to oxidized iron dissolved in the water. This particular spring is not hot.

Part of the onetime Longmire health resort. A pool with side ledges for sitting and soaking. Hot tub, I guess.
Next to the pool are two signs. One of them explains that James Longmire sold the water as a cure-all, and that thousands of guests visited the resort every year. The other sternly warns in big red letters, "DO NOT DRINK THE WATER. IT COULD MAKE YOU VERY SICK." I was amused.

Closeup of the central font. Water is normally a passive thing; it flows downhill in whatever channel it has. Not so here. It ripples and overflows and splashes and bubbles completely on its own and with great humor.

In a lot of places, the colors seem garish and lurid, the blood of something that sleeps far below the surface.

Not too wrong, either, really - the streams pick up their heat and color from the bones of the mountain. Volcanic depths and the blood-scent of iron.

The ends of the grass and some ferns are also smeared with the orange. With the vaguely toxic sulfurous scent, one is reminded of legends of the blood of medusa. No hoofprints that lead away from a spring, leap, and never return, though.

Another manmade basin, but I'm at a loss as to how this one would have been theraputic. Taking this picture was fun; I got to balance on a rock to avoid dunking my pants in all that color.

My favorite of the iron oxide pictures. The stream was very slightly warmer than surrounding water. May well have been my imagination, honestly.

A colorless spring, caught in mossy pools around tree roots.

I'm just including this one because I really liked it, loved the immediacy and presence and breath of clouds halfway up a huge mountain.

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