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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waite Park in Stearns County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Fata Morgana

 
 
Fata Morgana Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 13, 2014
1. Fata Morgana Marker
Inscription.

Fata Morgana is carved from Cold Spring Granite's diamond pink granite from Rockville Quarry #1, located just west of HWY 23 before the I-94/HWY 23 interchange. The sculpture weights [sic] about 5,300 lbs. and was carved in 2005 by George Kurjanowicz of Barre, Vermont of Kurjanowicz Sculpture Studio. It was commissioned for the 2005 Granite Country USA exposition and donated by the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to Quarry Park. Installation at the park occurred on June 27, 2013.

The name for the sculpture comes from a natural phenomenon. Fata Morgana is an unusual and complex form of a superior mirage that is seen in the narrow band right above the horizon. It is an Italian phrase derived from the Vulgar Latin for "fairy" and the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, from a belief that these mirages, often seen in the Strait of Messina, were fairy castles in the air or false land created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their death.

Fata Morgana mirages distort the object or objects which they are based on significantly, often to the point that the object is completely unrecognizable. A Fata Morgana can be seen on land or at sea, in Polar Regions or in deserts. This kind of mirage can involve almost any kind of distant object, including boats, islands, and coastlines. For the mirage to form
Fata Morgana Marker and Sculpture image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 13, 2014
2. Fata Morgana Marker and Sculpture
there must be a steep thermal inversion where an atmospheric duct has formed. This can only occur when significantly warmer air is resting over colder dense air. The atmospheric duct acts like a refracting lens, producing a series of both inverted and erect images.
 
Location. 45° 32.208′ N, 94° 14.467′ W. Marker is in Waite Park, Minnesota, in Stearns County. Touch for map. Marker and sculpture are about 150 feet east of the Quarry Park and Nature Preserve entrance station, off Minnesota Route 137, about 0.6 miles west of 10th Avenue South. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1802 County Road 137, Waite Park MN 56387, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Quarry Derrick (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sherman Theatre (approx. 4.1 miles away); Breen Hotel (approx. 4.1 miles away); St. Mary's Building (approx. 4.1 miles away); United States Post Office (approx. 4.2 miles away); Daniel Building (approx. 4.2 miles away); St. Walburg Hall (approx. 4.2 miles away); McClure & Searle [Building] (approx. 4.4 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Quarry Park and Nature Preserve. (Submitted on October 18, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Fata Morgana. (Submitted on October 18, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Fata Morgana Sculpture image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 13, 2014
3. Fata Morgana Sculpture

3. Fata Morgana, a 1971 movie. (Submitted on October 18, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Kurjanowicz Sculpture Studio. (Submitted on October 18, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicCharity & Public WorkMan-Made Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 18, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 230 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 18, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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