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Friday, March 16, 2007

Foto Friday: The Shrine

This is another from last week's set. I was struck by the spookiness of this photo. There's a sense of unease about it, as if, in exploring some public space, you'd stumbled into a private one, or onto a grave.

It would make a good album cover.

Laurentine Hamilton Courtyard, Mt. Hamilton, CA, June 1995Laurentine Hamilton Courtyard
Mt. Hamilton, CA, June 1995

This is the Laurentine Hamilton Courtyard up at Lick Observatory. You can take a virtual tour of the observatory. Here's the Hamilton Courtyard page. Click on the picture to see a close-up.

Laurentine Hamilton is, of course, the fellow for whom Mt. Hamilton is named. He was a Presbyterian-turned-Unitarian minister. In 1861 he went up the mountain with a surveyor friend; they had to hike the last three miles. Since the surveyor and his assistant were burdened with instruments -- and Rev. Hamilton was not -- he was able to make it to the summit ahead of them. Ha ha ha. And so the mountain was named for him. He dropped dead during an Easter sermon in 1882. (And that's what sprinting up mountains gets you.)

In the 1990s his granddaughter, Clara-Belle Lorraine Hamilton, gave the money for this courtyard to Lick, and she also gave money for a spectrograph.

This was taken on a windy day, so windy that the fountain was bent to the right, and water was blown all over the concrete. You might be able to see the motion blur in the trees, too.

Here's a St. Louis blogger who has some pictures of the courtyard and observatory.

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