Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Stills :: Where's There's Smoke, There's Fire

This week's challenge required smoke or fire. Many different interpretations have been submitted and are very interesting. You can check them out here.

In Western WA, there's only one safe place i know of for this to photograph this subject: Flaming Geyser State Park.

Granted, the name stirs all kinds of imagery in one's noggin, and seriously make's it sound grander than it is. But really, it is kind of a cool phenomenon.

Out in the Green River gorge between Auburn and Black Diamond, there are huge pockets of coal seams, that were mined about 100 years ago here in Seattle area. From the pockets that still exist, methane emits from cracks the ground.

When they first found this geyser the flame was a foot and a half high, it's flame fading little by little until it was snuffed out a decade or so ago. Then we had an earthquake Ash Wednesday of 2001 and it was revived again.

I'm uncertain why they decided to make the "improvements" to the geyser. Forced through a pipe encased in cement, it doesn't really look like a natural anomily, however i've read that at one point early in it's history, this property was privately owned and slated to be marketed as an "amusement park". Up at the top of the ridge from the flame is the "bubbling geyser", where the gas escapes from under the creek that runs up there. Thankfully, when the property went up for sale and was destined to become developed into housing sites, the state was able to acquire it.

Sadly, a lot of the trails are unusable, as the bridges have fallen into disrepair and aren't safe. We trekked out to the river and found lots of kids enjoying rafting down the Green River on a sea of camping mattresses and innertubes. :o) And in the Fall, it's a playground from all kinds of spawning salmon. If you're quiet as you approach the shores of the river, you can see the salmon swimming everywhere!
Never the less, it does make a wonderful respite from the scorching heat in an 85 degree house on a Friday evening, especially when paired with family and good takeout bbq!


  1. I think yours was the best story and offered a very different fire from what most of us could experience. Nice job.

  2. Very cool, you would think with all the rain it would keep going out, you don't need to do anything else for the contest just keep posting these great posts and December will be here before you know it..:-))

  3. Very interesting! It has to make you wonder what in the world is under the surface..kinda scary too:)

  4. This fire thing was a hard SS so I didn't do it. You did good though.



Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!