Friday, August 22, 2008

Castellated

I was certain this gathering of turrets was another creation by Leo until I ran into Leo himself. "Not this time," he said. So I don't know who made the little castles in the foreground.

The fortress in the background is the Devil's Gate Dam. I know who built that, if Wikipedia's article is correct (though I think Wikipedia's a place to begin one's research rather than end it): the Los Angeles County Flood Control District built the dam in 1920.

Hard to believe we ever needed flood control, isn't it?

All things change. Even castles are impermanent. Droughts too, and that's no fairy tale.

21 comments:

Dina said...

Turrets?! You call them turrets?? Oh thank you, Petrea! For years I've been wondering what to call them.
Your comment on our moon-rising is a good idea, very nice.
Shabbat shalom.

Dina said...

And the photo is lovely, with the sun on the first turret.
A dam? That is strange. Was 1920 the time of the CCC?

elizabeth said...

Rock stacks like that are a back-country way to mark a trail.

I've also seen them at a Buddhist temple, where they functioned kind of like indulgences. Apparently in the Buddhist purgatory while souls wait to be reborn, some souls are tormented by having to build stacks of rocks that always fall down. The stacks of rocks at the temple were done by visitors to contribute towards helping these souls complete their task.

I'm not sure I got the theology exactly right, but I still think it's a very lovely thing to do.

keith said...

That's a very calming light on the rocks. It does seem kind of odd to have a dam in a desert area.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

It's interesting how all over the West, things were given "evil" names. Devil's Gate Dam, Devil's Postpile, Devil Creek. The coup de grace is Death Valley.

Bernie K. said...

Keith: flash floods.

Bernie K. said...

WCGB: I know … demonization of natural features is a remnant of our preindustrial reaction to the land.
Such stuff is all over Europe (where a hiker's shadow can become a ghost).

As the Euros came west, this extended to that other "disposable natural" features, in the Indian paintbrush, etc.

When we were kids touring the Wisconsin Dells, I pissed off a tourguide by mocking his patter—but I had my sister in fits, pointing out The Devil's Knick-Knack Shelf and the Medicine Cabinet of the Gods, etc.

Petrea said...
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Laurie said...

I don't know which is more wonderful, Petrea. Your great post and photo -- or all the cool comments here. I love Elizabeth's information. And Bernie cracks me up with the Devil's Knick Knack shelf.

Christie said...

Very nice. But just maybe the "artist" likes to stack rocks?

marley said...

I love the light in this photo. The turrets are cool too!

Ms M said...

The rock piles reminds me of cairns I saw while hiking in the Rockies. Cairns are used often to mark a trail or switchbacks, particularly if the trail is on rocky terrain.

Love the light in this photos!

Ms M said...

Slippery fingers...
"in this photo" singular :)

Petrea said...

I'm not sure it's the proper term, Dina, but I like it. (Love your "turdets" comment on the Arf Imitates Art post from yesterday!) I think the CCC was active in the 20's, but this dam was built locally. Bernie's link below regarding flash floods explains why.

Elizabeth: I hadn't known this, what a lovely thought.

Keith, see Bernie's link below. We still need the dam, too; Leo told me the water was up to the top of the dam as recently as 2005.

WCGB, it sounds like Wisconsin has us beat.

Bernie, you are a fountain of information. The Devil's Geyser, we call you.

Thank you, Laurie, that's very kind of you!

Christie, I believe your explanation of the "turrets" is the wisest one, following the principle of Occam's Razor.

Thanks, Marley!

Petrea said...

Hello, Ms M! We have a trail here that needs no marking, but I still like the cairns. Turrets. Rock stacks.

Bernie K. said...

Here's more info: my link on flash floods is *above* …

Marylène said...
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Marylène said...
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Marylène said...

2 new words for me today, turrets and castelladed, thanks, Petrea !
Thoses turrets and other forms of art from your previous posts seem so familiar :
I went, just a couple of days ago, to the "Musée des Arts Premiers", ou Musée du Quai Branly, in Paris (www.quaibranly.fr).
In one day, I had time to visit only the half of it, Americas and Oceania and I swear I saw some of your pics !!!!!
Are you sure you didn't pay a visit there ?
Art is unchanging and at the same time a process of constant renewal.
Thank for sharing all the "encounters" you make during your walks.

Petrea said...

Merci, Marylène. I would love a visit to the Musée du Quai Branly. Perhaps having the materials so near to hand makes an artist create. The sticks and rocks are still here! They call out to be stacked and formed and piled! Perhaps they've always called out in that way, and always will.

I'm only guessing. Before cameras were invented, I collected them.

Kahunna said...

I've always called them cairns, but I like turrets.