Monday, October 1, 2012

When a picture says 1000 words

This has to be one of the saddest photos I've ever seen. The great, beautiful Yosemite Falls with no water! I've seen it with a mere trickle -- in fact the first time I saw it back in 1976 the flow was pretty meager, unimpressive. I've been seeing this on the website for weeks now. This is the upper falls. Compare this with the following photos taken by me on different visits.
Mother's day, 1979 or 1980. A surprise overnight dusting of snow coated the whole valley. It was spectacular. Pretty sure this is also the upper falls. For some reason, it's hard to get a shot of both the upper and lower falls together. Or, it must be, since I don't have one and the Conservancy camera also only captures one.

These two were both taken in 1996, on my slow, scenic and meandering trip back to the west coast from Georgia. On the right is lower Yosemite Falls. On the left, a close-up of upper Yosemite Falls taken from somewhere near the top of the lower falls. I hiked to the top of the upper falls that day -- lengthy, hot and steep. This side trip into the misty shade was a welcome respite, as well as being spectacular. As you might imagine, the views from the top were spectacular. Most surprising to me was the narrow width of the stream that produces all this water. You could have hopped across it, and some did. Personally, I opted against that, too well aware of the hard landing far, far below. I'm not afraid of much, but I also try not to be totally stupid. 

Better days will return to Yosemite, I'm sure. Droughts, like floods, don't last forever. But it's sad to see in a place that, to me, is utterly magical.

Here in north Georgia, we have rain. Started yesterday, rained all night and has rained most of the day, so far. Looking at radar maps, it's not going to stop anytime soon. But, it's a nice rain -- soft and gentle, the kind that (supposedly) sinks in, rather than running off. No storms along for the ride. I say 'supposedly' because when I went out to my car this morning to go to Curves and the library, the sidewalk was standing in water so I moved over to my lawn and that was even worse! Lots of standing water everywhere, mostly in low spots. The seedlings in my new greens bed will love it -- and so will the earthworms and other critters that live out there.

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