Oneonta Gorge I have long wanted to paint the incredibly beautiful Oneonta Gorge. I was able to climb into this beautiful area and photograph it late one spring. These photographs inspired the Oneonta Gorge painting. The Oneonta Gorge is a unique area within the Columbia River Gorge. Its 25 million year old walls are home to unique and rare shade-loving, woodland plants, ferns, mosses and lichens, which only grow there. The area has been designated as a botanical preserve to protect its ecosystem. In the late 1990s Mother Nature rearranged things with a rock slide that dumped three large boulders, one the size of a small house into the stream bed and a subsequent log jam that built in behind the rocks. Cataclysmic floods, over 700 feet in height, roared from glacial lake ice dam ruptures carving steep, dramatic rock cliffs and leaving behind the stunning Columbia River Gorge. Peak flows are estimated to have traveled at speeds of up to 8- miles per hour. These Missoula Floods, also known as the Spokane Floods and the Bretz Floods, swept across eastern Washington and down the developing Columbia River Gorge as many as 40 times at the end of the Ice Age. After each flood, the ice dams would reform, recreating the great 4200 foot deep, glacial Lake Missoula in the Montana. In the end, the series of massive floods excavated 50 cubic miles of sediment and basalt. Today, the Columbia River Gorge, known to locals as the gorgeous gorge, is the only sea-level passageway through the Cascade Mountain Range. This creates a wind tunnel effect when atmospheric pressures differ east and west of the Cascade mountain range. This canyon is up to 4000 feet deep in places and is 80 miles in length. Gorge climates range from dry grasslands in the east to temperate forest in its west end. Native American populations have inhabited the Gorge for over 13,000 years, using river travel for trade. The Gorge is the home of the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest. The river�s headwaters are in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, from which it flows northwest and then south all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The Columbia River supports both freshwater fish and the fish that migrate between the Pacific Ocean and the freshwater river to spawn, particularly the salmon. Jeanette French, paintings, photographs, canvas prints framed prints, metallic prints, acrylic prints, greeting cards, gift cards, fine art. jeanette-french.artistwebsites.com and jeanette-french.pixels.com. Creating portals of light, love, joy, beauty, compassion, hope and gratitude is my lifelong passion and gift for the earth, hence the name of my art business, For the Earth. My mother painted in oils when I was young and encouraged my own drawing, painting and handcrafting in all forms. My father, the photographer, gave me my first camera at age 8. As a result of these loving influences, I am a lifelong student of both mediums. I am grateful to my wonderful Pacific NW painter teachers, Stan Capon and Edi Olson, for training my eye and technique. I hope you will enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed its creation. More gifts for the earth can be found at these websites: jeanette-french.artistwebsites.com and jeanette-french.pixels.com.
June 4th, 2016
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