I spent a couple days near the mouth of the Columbia River learning about the travels of Lewis and Clark. Luckily, our expedition was blessed with bright sunshine, not the “rain as usual” that plagued those weary travelers two centuries ago.
The interpretive center at Cape Disappointment has, in addition to an extensive exhibit on the Lewis and Clark expedition, an old fresnel lens from the lighthouse there. (You can even see cracks and chips in the glass from all the years it stood exposed to the elements.)
For someone like me who likes to play with light, a fresnel lens is a veritable playground. Here’s a view of the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, reflected in the fresnel. If you look closely, you can see the lighthouse itself in the far right of the shot.
But the real fun was around the other side of the lens, seeing the light coming in from the window refracted into bands of color. It reminded me of the works of Mondrian.