40年的休养生息 40 years of recovery
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
Today is an important day in American history. We're standing on the Boundary Trail at Johnston Ridge in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Forty years ago today, 110,000 acres within Gifford Pinchot National Forest was set aside to memorialize the deadliest and most destructive volcanic eruption in the United States. For nearly nine hours on May 18th, 1980, the Mount St. Helens erupted, forever changing the Washington landscape. The volcanic event started at roughly 8:30 on a Sunday morning with a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. This triggered what is known as a 'lateral eruption,' which means the lava blast comes out of the side of the volcano, rather than the top. The initial blast shaved more than a thousand feet off the mountain's elevation, resulting in a massive avalanche and the destruction of about 150 square miles of the surrounding forest. When the event ended, 57 people had died, 200 homes and almost 200 miles of nearby highway had been destroyed.
The monument was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 to preserve the area for research, recreation, and education. The land inside has been left to mostly recover naturally since the eruption. While it's believed that Mount St. Helens will erupt again sometime within the next few centuries, that has not deterred people from hiking and climbing at the monument, which has been allowed since 1986.
123岁生日快乐！ Happy 123rd birthday
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier is the crown jewel of its namesake national park, designated March 2, 1899, by President William McKinley. It was just the fifth national park in the United States. Beyond the mountain, the 369-square-mile park also includes valleys, waterfalls, old-growth forests, and pristine alpine meadows famous for summer wildflowers.
Rainier is considered the most glaciated peak in the contiguous US. Native Americans named it Tahoma, which translates to mother of waters. Indeed, the mountain spawns five major rivers, and to this day, its snowmelt provides much of the water for the region.
Although beautiful, Rainier is also one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Scientists consider an eruption in the near future to be highly probable. In addition to spewing ash and triggering landslides, a major eruption would likely trigger massive mudflows, called lahars, that would send a tsunami of mud, boulders, and debris toward the cities of Tacoma and Seattle, only 100 miles away. For now, we'll just admire the majesty of this sleeping giant and be thankful that the national park protects so much pristine northwest wilderness.
Islands of the Salish Sea
The San Juan archipelago is made up of over 400 islands and rocks, some only visible during low tide, in the Salish Sea between Washington state and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. No bridges connect the San Juans to the mainland, but four of the largest islands—San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw—are accessible via the Washington State Ferries. Tourists come to the islands to take in the stunning coastal views, catch a glimpse of resident orcas, and partake in many outdoor activities, such as sea kayaking, biking, and hiking. One popular destination is the San Juan Island National Historical Park, which was established on September 9, 1966, to commemorate the Pig War. That strangely named confrontation between the US and the UK was sparked, in part, by the killing of a pig in 1859. But it was really a dispute over ownership of the islands.
圣胡安群岛由400多个岛屿和岩石组成，其中一些只有在退潮时才能看到，位于华盛顿州和不列颠哥伦比亚省温哥华岛之间的萨利什海。圣胡安岛与大陆之间没有桥梁连接，但圣胡安岛、奥卡斯岛、洛佩兹岛和肖岛四个最大的岛屿可以通过华盛顿州的渡轮到达。游客来到这些岛屿是为了欣赏美丽的海岸风光，欣赏当地的虎鲸，并参与许多户外活动，如海上皮划艇、骑自行车和徒步旅行。圣胡安岛国家历史公园（San Juan Island National Historical Park）是一个受欢迎的目的地，它建于1966年9月9日，是为了纪念猪战争。美英之间那场奇怪的对峙，部分是由1859年一头猪被杀引发的。但这确实是一场关于岛屿所有权的争端。
A wild, craggy corner of the United States
The sun is setting here on the west coast of Washington state's rugged Olympic Peninsula, where more than 3,000 square miles of marine waters are protected as part of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Wondering where exactly we are? Look at a map of the United States and draw your finger up the west coast until it ends where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean. Those final 135 miles of shoreline form the landward boundary of the sanctuary, which also extends seaward 25 to 50 miles.
This area attracts more than 3 million visitors a year. Many come to catch glimpses of the 29 species of marine mammals that reside in or migrate through this area, like humpback, gray, and orca whales, plus seals, sea lions, and sea otters. Salmon and halibut thrive here, as do any number of seabirds that make their nests in the craggy rock walls, seagrass, and treetops. At low tide, visitors explore tidepools teeming with life. This sanctuary is more than ecological resource, it's also home to vibrant Native American tribes. The Makah, Quileute, Hoh, and Quinault have been here for centuries, long before the first English sea captains spotted the coast and gave it its current name.
In 1846, when Congress authorized an institution 'for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,' no one could have predicted what the Smithsonian Institution would eventually become. Today, on our 175th anniversary, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum, education, and research complex. And in the decades that I have worked at here—as an educator, curator, museum director, and now as Secretary—I have watched us grow into a vital and vibrant 21st-century institution: conducting groundbreaking research, becoming a national leader in K-12 education, creating new museums that represent the American experience more fully, and equipping our audiences to tackle the world's most pressing challenges.
The Arts and Industries Building (AIB), pictured here, exemplifies our role as both a cultural steward and a hub of innovation. The Smithsonian's second-oldest building, AIB opened in 1881 as the US National Museum. An architectural icon located at the heart of the National Mall, its soaring halls introduced millions of Americans to wonders about to change the world—Edison's lightbulb, the first telephone, Apollo rockets. Since the 19th century, when it hosted early flight experiments and the country's burgeoning natural history collections, AIB has been a place for creativity and invention.
This forward-looking spirit is embodied in FUTURES, the Arts and Industries Building's large-scale, dynamic exhibition opening in November 2021. Focusing on interactive discovery and collaboration, the exhibition will feature art installations, technology debuts, interactive experiences, and ideas that preview humanity's next chapter. (This entry was written by Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.)
这种前瞻性的精神体现在2021年11月艺术与工业大厦（art and Industries Building）的大型、充满活力的展览开幕式上。该展览将以互动发现和协作为重点，展示艺术装置、技术首次亮相、互动体验和思想，预展人类的下一篇章(这篇文章是朗尼G。布奇三世，史密森学会秘书。）
Welcome to the Hoh
Don't let this sunny picture fool you. The Hoh, a temperate rainforest on the western side of Olympic National Park in Washington state, sees between 12 and 14 feet of rain each year, making it one of the wettest places in the continental US. But all that moisture creates a lush, even mystical environment. The forest features a mix of conifers and deciduous trees draped heavily with moss, like the arching big leaf maple in our homepage image. A stroll through the forest will also reveal the massive Sitka spruce and western hemlock that may reach more than 300 feet up into the dense canopy. Below, the woods teem with ferns, lichen, and other vegetation. It's an enchanted forest right out of a fairy tale.
Rhododendrons and azaleas blooming around Moon Bridge, Kubota Garden, Seattle, Washington (© Mary Liz Austin/Alamy)
It's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
As Asian Pacific American Heritage month kicks off today, we're visiting Kubota Garden in Seattle, part of the city's extensive park system. The 20-acre Japanese garden is tucked away in the Rainier Valley district—one of the traditional centers of Seattle's Asian American community.
The garden was founded on five acres of converted swampland by self-taught gardener Fujitaro Kubota, who emigrated from Japan in 1907. Founding his own gardening company in Seattle by 1923, he built a reputation by applying Japanese techniques to gardens across the still-young city. He established his namesake garden in 1927, and it quadrupled in acreage over the next decade. Later, during World War II, Kubota and other Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps and the garden was abandoned. But after the war, Kubota restored the garden and his business. He died in 1973, aged 94. But he lives on through his now-public garden, and as one example of the millions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans who've helped build and beautify our nation.
Spring comes to the Palouse
The Palouse region of the inland Pacific Northwest is an unusually hilly prairie that straddles the state line between Washington and Idaho. Farming seems an unlikely endeavor here, but the soil and weather patterns make it ideal for growing certain crops, especially wheat and lentils. This time of year, when the wheat and barley crops are young, the hills brighten to fresh shades of green.
Before Europeans and early US settlers arrived, the Palouse was occupied by the Nez Perce people, who bred and raised horses with spotted coats—a breed that would eventually come to be known as 'appaloosas'—a gradual permutation of the name 'Palouse.'
Red skies at Ruby Beach
Reddish crystals in the sand inspired the name of Ruby Beach, one of the coastal stops within Olympic National Park in Washington state. A few miles from the shore is Destruction Island, where birds such as rhinoceros auklets may stop and rest after a day of gobbling up krill and squid in the cold Pacific waters. While the park includes miles of colorful Pacific coastline, it's also famous for the Hoh Rainforest, an inland temperate forest notable for its towering old-growth hemlock and spruce trees.
Time-lapse video of lenticular clouds over Mount Rainier, Washington (© Delrious/Shutterstock)
A peak in the clouds
World Meteorological Day brings us to Washington's Mount Rainier, a huge stratovolcano with a habit of creating its own weather systems. Jutting out about 2 miles above the surrounding landscape, its high altitude interrupts the flow of air that comes in off the Pacific Ocean, creating unusual weather such as the saucer-shaped clouds on our homepage. They're called lenticular clouds, and because of their distinctive appearance, they've been suggested as an explanation for some UFO sightings. Thanks for the science of meteorology, we know they're a normal weather phenomenon, commonly occurring on the downwind side of obstructions such as mountains, buildings, or other tall structures.