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View of Pumice Plain and Mount St. Helens, Washington, 2000

Photo: View of Pumice Plain and Mount St. Helens

Vegetation has returned to the scenery of Washington’s Pumice Plain, which was stripped of life after Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. Despite the immense pyroclastic flow (a mix of hot gas and ash) that scoured these plains after the eruption, the purple flowers of prairie lupines appeared within a few years and accelerated the landscape’s recovery.

(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Mount St. Helens: Nature on Fast Forward," May 2000, National Geographic magazine)

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Photograph by Jim Richardson

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