This was one of Astoria's newer landmarks, painted in the summer of 2002, but it disappeared last Saturday. I'd intended to go back and get a better photo "soon," but as Lee and I drove past the building on which this mural was painted, we saw the artwork being swallowed up under new siding material! It was painted by Jo Brown and her assistants to represent some of Astoria's historic features along with local wildlife. Astoria has a number of murals still in place, some of them done by Jo, who has lived in Astoria, but also worked in Hollywood as a scene painter. (I saw her name on a film credit just this week, but I don't remember which film.) Painted on the side of the TLC Credit Union, the mural was most visible from Marine Drive and the parking lot of the mini-mart and gas station. You can see the back of a vehicle parked in front of the painted boat on the right and a teller window for the credit union on the left. A huge feature, the five-cent trolley, can't be seen in this photo, but fortunately I found another online image of the entire mural in a "waymarking" photo. If you've never hear of waymarking, it's an interesting pheonomenon I learned about this year. I don't participate (I do post many of my location photos to Panoramio/Google Earth), but briefly, waymarking is done by individuals who digitally preserve landmarks all over the world, along with their locations on a map.
I especially like the horses in this photo. I showed another image of horse seining on the Maritime Memorial. You'll have to click the photo and look on the right side. As in the mural, the man guides two horses. This was done in the shallow water near sand bars and islands in the Columbia. A huge net is attached to the land at one end. The horses pull the other end of the net through the water and mud, scooping up salmon by the hundreds. It was an efficient way to catch fish, but it also helped deplete the number of fish in the river. There are other issues and fishing methods that deplete the salmon, and I won't take the time to study it, but briefly, we have a lot of sea lions who eat tons of salmon per year. Their natural enemies, the orcas, are virtually gone from this location, and the sea lions cause great havoc among the salmon population. Most of us love to watch the local sea lions, although there are those who shoot them on sight. This is a whole story in itself. But it all comes into the issue of the balances between man and nature - or I should probably say nature, nature, and man. I wonder how complex that balance really is, as it can be affected by so many things, not all of which are man-made. Locally, one manifestation of the balance issue is that there was some question about whether there would be enough salmon in the river this year to open a spring salmon fishing season. If not, I believe this would be a first.
Check out "green" thoughts and photos at Think Green Thursday.
Back to the original intent. I just wanted to post a photo of this mural - now another of Astoria's memories.
What's one of the vanished landmarks you'd like to see come back to your city? Or maybe one that you're glad is gone!