Soil Core Series
Inspiration for the Ancient Forests of Frying Pan Creek
"We chose a rather level terrace not far from the creek and began digging…It took about a half-hour to expose the soil profile, be we had no awareness of time. Both Don and I knew we had made an exciting discovery. We sat at the edge of the soil pit and viewed with exhilaration the profile we had exposed. Not a word was spoken, we just looked…
…In the stratigraphy of soil layers, we could read the present and ancient history of this forest. We saw a chronicle of changing landscapes that took us back more than 4000 years. Stupendous volcanic eruptions and terrifying rains of ash were here revealed, not just from the giant volcano a few miles away, but from Mount St. Helens, too. Extinct forests and ancient fires. Floods…
…as the two of us contemplate the story of our soil profile, we are reassured. The forests have endured. They have healed the scarred landscapes again and again. Life is incredibly persistent…"
William Moir, The Forests of Mount Rainier National Park: A Natural History, 1989 pp. 39-42
Ancient Forests of Frying Pan Creek is in the Cynthia Sear's Collection at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.