Wallowa Lake, view Southside . . . Notice the very pronounced difference
in vegetation on the two side of the present lake.
Eastfacing (left) covered
in a closed, continuous conifer forest;
Westfacing (right), the forest quickly
gives way to open grassland. Not seen is the highway along the East Moraine
(right). And not heard here are the interesting acoustical properties of
the composite form of flat water + the steep incline of the moraine, which
form a kind of natural ampitheater. Sounds below on the highway are
greatly amplified, making it possible to follow the noise-path of a single
car as it moves along the 5 or 6 K road from the northside of the lake to
the southside. The summer months of heavy tourist traffic must raise a
real cacophony of sound, reaching all the way to beautiful footpath
which crosses the entire length of the top right edge—hundreds of feet
above the lake—shown in the photo.

(The elevation of the lake is about 1333 meters (4372 feet), with
the high point of the moraines northern end at 1490 m. (4888 ft.),
a difference of 157 meters!)
| see photos on top of moraine 1 and 2 |

Getting a sense of glacier time . . .

Moraines are piles of rock and sediment carried down and deposited
by massive bodies of ice we call glaciers. Imagine a flowform in very
slow motion, in glacier time. Imagine weather and climate in which
more snow falls than melts, so that the glacier grows thicker, year by
year, and creeps out from the highest peaks that are its source into
the lower flatlands. Image the entire lake pictured above filled with
solid blue-white ice extending far above the side moraines which are
now the lake's shores. Those are the forces of the Pleistocene, an
epoch that lasted from 1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago, that created
the contemporary form we see today

Below are some photos of contemporary high
alpine glaciers:

On the road in the American Northwest.

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2007 picture-poems.com
(created: XI.19.2007)