All the talk about Osama Bin Laden's dramatic demise has me thinking about "national defense". Coincidentally I approach Battery Boutelle, one of the Fort Scott large gun emplacements constructed to defend the Golden Gate and now provide a starkly beautiful architecture for hikers, bikers, painters and open space appreciators.
Here's what the National Park Service says about Battery Boutelle,
"This Endicott-era battery was completed and armed in 1900 with three 5-inch rapid fire guns mounted on balanced pillar mounts, which were designed to defend against mine sweepers and fast torpedo boats. These guns had a range of seven miles and could be fired at the rate of up to thirty rounds per minute. Like most light artillery, these guns were loaded with ammunition cases similar to the cartridges used in infantry rifles. The weight of one cartridge was nearly sixty pounds.
This battery remained functional until 1917 when the three guns were dismounted for service as field artillery during World War I. The whole Presidio as well as the Marin Headlands on the far side of the Golden Gate is filled with hard defensive structures that served "us" in various political/technological eras. The times and mega-ideas shift and morph across new lands with new means. Check out this map of the Presidio batteries of various types distributed on the San Francisco side of the Gate.
In the view above one see's gun emplacements at the bottom nestled in the cyprus trees.
The lines of politico-techno battle have shifted away from this naturally awesome place to new locations via ever changing means. I'm happy for this moment with the abstract beauty of light, space, curved walls, and ocean vistas.
Overview of Battery Boutelle and the Golden Gate - with grass roots art.
The essential beauty of light where it meets it's diffusers, reflectors and containers.
For more photos of this dramatic location see my Presidio set on Flickr.