This is about summer using some 1906 postcards I recently purchased.

This is about summer using some 1906 postcards I recently purchased.

Giant’s Causeway

Little Nell was selling basalt stones from 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed sixty million years ago by volcanic activity in the northern most part of Ireland. They are perfect hexagonal crystals of basalt designated as a World Heritage site named the Giant’s Causeway because of a local legend, “

Little Irish Nell”

Wm. Davis Hall 1888

Do buy a box of specimens, and take me for your guide,

I’ll point you out all that’s to be seen along the Causeway side

I’ll lead you to the Magic Well, and to the Giant’s Chair,

And all will surely come to pass you wish when seated there

Who’ll give a shilling for a box?—I really wish to sell

Do buy a box of specimen’s from Little Irish Nell.

Summer 1906

Most climbing on glaciers in Switzerland is done in summer and Okies in August would rather think of snow than hot beaches. In card No.3 we see the hubris exhibited by a man who has just climbed a hillock all of 18-feet high.

When it’s hot here, we yearn for winter days as in Freudenstadt, southern Germany.[4]

At 5:12 a.m., April 18, 1906 the earth along a 296-mile segment of the San Andreas fault in Central California ruptured beginning at its epicenter several miles offshore from San Francisco killing up to 3,000 people and leaving 227,000 to 300,000 people homeless. Broken gas lines caused over 30 fires destroying 25,000 buildings and 490 city blocks inflicting 90% of the estimated $9.5 billion damage in current dollars.[5]

Scientists have studied the Cascadia subduction zone where the Juan de Fuca plate slips under the North American plate extending east to our east coast. Physical evidence and oral histories of Pacific Coast Native Americans place date the last earthquake in the region at precisely 9:00 a.m., January 26, 1700. It caused a tsunami that reached Japan 10 hours later. Not one member of the Pachena Bay people on Vancouver Island survived In the last 10,000 years, forty similar earthquakes have occurred with an average frequency of one every 243 years. That means we are now 74 years beyond zero hour of “The Next Big One” over 9.0 on the Richter scale. Some 140,000 square miles will be damaged and everything west of I-5 destroyed.*

The quaint picture of an elderly man repairing an ancient wooden wheelbarrow is mute evidence of the advances in technology in the twentieth century.[6]

Similarly, Scot fishwives, one carrying a basket of fish on her back, is evidence of the change in their economy, and their clothing depicts changes in their culture. [7]

Summer should at some time include a trip to one or more of America’s crown jewels e.g., our national parks. Our first and the world’s first national park is Yellowstone established by President Grant in 1872. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions from the Yellowstone Caldera, the continent’s largest super-volcano, cover half its 3500 square miles. All that fuming and spewing from deep in the earth’s bowels is from a magma chamber 18 miles long and 3 to 9 miles below the earth potentially causing an eruption 2,000 times larger than the Mount St. Helens eruption 870 miles to the west—geologically next door. The driver of the tour stagecoach in 1906 probably worked for the U.S. Army which administered Yellowstone 1886-1916 and probably gave no thought to the danger which lurked beneath, but then who would have thought Mt. St. Helens would blow its top 74 years later. [8]

That guy driving his milkmaid [likely his wife] to town has no significance which is typical of most of our behavior in summer. Don’t worry about nature, enjoy it. [9]

Schultz, Kathryn, “The Really Big One,” the New Yorker, 7/20/15.