Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday photo

Kepler Cascade
Kepler Cascades, Yellowstone National Park, in August 1993.

Gustavus Doane, a member of the Washburn-Langford expedition of 1870, had this to say about the Cascades:

These pretty little falls, if located on an eastern stream, would be celebrated in history and song; here, amid objects so grand as to strain conception and stagger belief, they were passed without a halt.

This is true of so much scenery in the West. Not that the East lacks beauty, not at all, but it's an older, more eroded landscape with little remaining on so grand a scale* as the West offers. There are still larger waterfalls in the Yellowstone backcountry which do not yet even have official names.

The longest drop, shown here, is 50', but the entire series of falls drops about 150'. Leaving Old Faithful and heading east toward West Thumb, you find them just a couple miles up the road. In the days before automobiles, they would have been the first "attraction" encountered by tourists on stagecoaches on the day they left Old Faithful, and they were a popular hiking destination for Old Faithful employees who had no transportation - and little free time - to go much farther from home.

This is a 1/2-second exposure, taken in the evening as I was leaving the geyser basin and headed back to Lake. The cool blue light in the shadows contrasts nicely with the warm light from the setting sun; you can see some blur in the lower branches of the tree, from a sudden gust of wind.

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* Although, for grand scale, the Great Lakes need bow to no one.

PS. And how could I possibly forget Niagara Falls, which would impress any Westerner - if for no other reason than that they had no idea so much water even existed in the world.

1 comment:

Heather said...

So beautiful! Thanks so much for posting these.