Photo Friday: Washington State Glaciers

Over winter break from my PhD program in Arizona, I traveled to Washington State to visit my partner’s family and see old friends. While there, the strong El Nino event affecting global weather this year contributed to persistent high pressure in the region– causing unusual clear blue skies for days on end. The rare winter clarity provided unprecedented views of the region’s beautiful glaciers.

Washington State is home to some of the country’s youngest and tallest mountains– the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. The Olympic Range was created by the movement of the Cascadia subduction zone millions of years ago, while the Cascade range, made up of active volcanic peaks, is driven by the same tectonic subduction. Puget Sound and islands in it, which separate the two mountain ranges, are the remnants of glacial valleys and moraines that were created during the last ice age.

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Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at

Four Centuries of Glacier Art

Caught in the Ice Floes, c. 1867
Caught in the Ice Floes, c. 1867 © William Bradford


Now on view at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario, the exhibition “Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012” explores the aesthetic and cultural significance of glaciers for Western art over the past 400 years.

The exhibit aims to inspire audiences to take action to protect the world’s glaciers as global warming takes its toll on these magnificent landscapes and icy frontiers. “Vanishing Ice is both a beautiful glimpse of some of the most remote and fragile ecosystems, and a call to action on what many people hold to be the defining issue of this generation,” said Victoria Dickenson, executive director and CEO of the McMichael gallery, in a news release.

The traveling exhibition is comprised of more than 70 works by 50 artists from 12 different countries, including paintings, rare expedition journals, photographs, videos, and installations. The artists presenting include Bisson Frères, Rockwell Kent, Thomas Hart Benton, and Alexis Rockman. Despite diverse themes and interpretations, almost all the artists were, in some way, stimulated by an effort to eulogize the beauty of ice.

“I was looking for works that would inspire people today to feel the same attraction that drew artists to these regions over the centuries. Seeing these works, people will hopefully experience this connection and be moved in some way to make a difference,” said Dr. Barbara Matilsky, the show’s curator, in an interview with National Gallery of Canada Magazine. The traveling exhibit’s first stop was the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington in 2013. After Bellingham it traveled to the El Paso Museum in Texas, and then on to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta. Kleinburg is the final stop.

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Arranged both geographically and chronologically, the pieces in the show vividly demonstrate how rapidly alpine and polar landscapes have changed over time. The photograph Noctilucent Clouds over Mount Baker, Washington (July 30,1975) by Eliot Porter (1901-1990) captures Coleman Glacier crowned by a rare kind of twilight cloud found in Polar Regions and composed of crystals of water ice. (See a time lapse of noctilucent clouds here.) It was taken during Porter’s journey to Pacific Northwest. Along with photographs by Henry C. Engberg (1865-1942) and Brett Baunton (1959-), this work documents the dramatic retreat of the Coleman Glacier since the beginning of the century.

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Please click here for more information on Vanishing Ice at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Photo Friday: Glacier Pictures from an American Farmer

Nearly all the images that appear in Photo Friday on this site are taken by travelers. Whether as scientists, as artists, or as adventurers, the photographers have undertaken journeys to mountain areas. They have sought out glaciers as visual subjects that illustrate their understanding of our world—its beauty, its fascination, its fragility.

By contrast, these images are taken by an individual very much rooted in place, Emily Gibson,  who describes herself as “a wife, mother, farmer and family physician.”  A third-generation of the Pacific Northwest, she presents images and essays from her life on and around a farm on her website Barnstorming. She includes glaciers along with other subjects  that express her understanding of our world—the ability to cherish its beauty and meaning, the responsibilities of people to care for one another, feelings of humility and gratitude in the presence of immensity.

Her images do not illustrate a journey to a mountain, but a settling into place.  These images show her capacity to sense freshness not in something distant or new, but in something nearby and familiar. The glaciers of Mt. Baker lie on her horizon. Her photographs make it possible for others, who live at greater distances from mountains, to keep glaciers on our horizons as well.

For more pictures from Emily’s site that we have covered, look here.

Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at

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Roundup: A New Documentary, Ice Worms, Timelapse Videos



“Glacial Balance,” A New Documentary by Ethan Steinman on Climate Change

“Water and its sources have historically been the key factor in the establishment of cities, of civilizations. But we are at a critical point in the environment and mankind’s existence. . . GLACIAL BALANCE takes us to Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador, getting to know those who are the first to be affected by the melting glacial reserve.”

Read more, here


A picture of the Sholes Glacier
Photo By, Martin Bravenboer, Via Flicker


Glacier Ice Worms Thrive in the Coastal Ranges of the Pacific Northwest

Relying on alga from snowpack to survive, being vulnerable to death from exposure to sunlight, and only being able to move vertically, these worms face many challenges to survival.

Read more, here 



“Requiem of Ice” Amazing Timelapse Video Shows Melting of the Largest Glacier Cave in the Country

 “The cave systems have been mapped and surveyed since 2011 by Brent McGregor and Eddy Cartaya of the Oregon High Desert Grotto and in that time they have discovered more than a mile of caves and passages beneath the Sandy Glacier.”

A team from Uncage the Soul Productions shot “Requiem of Ice” in two caves named Pure Imagination and Snow Dragon, demonstrating the effect of the changing landscape.

Read more about this story, here

For more on the Sandy Glacier see, “Yes, Glaciers Melt, But Do You Know How?

Photo Friday: Mt. Baker

We offer these photos from Barnstorming as a gift in this holiday season. The site’s manager speaks of  faithful stewardship–a principle that resonates with us at GlacierHub. These photos feature Mt. Baker in the North Cascades of Washington State in U.S. 

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Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at

Photo Friday: Mt. Baker and the North Cascades

Emily Gibson runs a blog called Barnstorming, about rural life on a farm in northwest Washington. Her pictures feature Mt. Baker, North Cascades and the Canadian Rockies in many different lights.

Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at

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