The View from Mount Constitution, Washington

October 22, 2014


Photographer: Stu Witmer
Summary Author: Stu Witmer

The photo panorama above was taken from the top of a lookout tower on Mount Constitution, in Moran State Park on Orcas Island, Washington. At 2,407 ft (734 m) this is tallest spot in the San Juan Islands. The view is looking toward the northeast where the volcanic Mount Baker is hidden under clouds. The Strait of Georgia and Canada is on the left while on the right is Rosario Strait in the U.S. The islands include Lummi and Matia Islands. Puget Sound is to the south and the entire complex is often referred to as the Salish Sea. Glaciers of the Pleistocene Epoch covered this area, increasing in size until about 15,000 years ago when the height of the ice sheet rose to about 3,000 ft (1,000 m) near here. As they retreated the glaciers scoured out the bays, inlets and islands in a generally north to south direction.

A few of years ago laminated root rot (Phellinus weirii) was found to be infecting trees in Moran State Park. Douglas fir is particularly susceptible. Out of total park acreage of over 5,000 acres, 12 acres were logged and replanted with trees less prone to the rot.

As we stood at the top of the tower, the small squall seen near the middle of the image moved left to right (west to east) across the field of view. Photo taken April 18, 2012.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS; Focal Length: 5.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 80.