I took these (and more but who knows where they are) during the first eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980, then after the second eruption.
The second was the one that affected me more. Day was dark as night, and ash rained down until everything was coated inches deep. The sharp particles became a brownish-grey concrete-like coating in the rain. It was the time of lush growth -- and BLAM instantly the grass was flattened and alfalfa hay prices sky-rocketed as people scrambled to find feed for their horses. Around here, I should mention, people routinely feed alfalfa hay (not a very smart thing). Eastern Washington grows a bazillion tons of alfalfa, which is trucked over the mountains to buyers. At hay-making time in Western Washington one may routinely see cut hay left until it turns yellow before it's baled -- a cavalier attitude far from I was familiar with before living here.
posted by - 4:35 PM