Monday, February 11, 2013

Empty Falls But Not For Long

There isn’t any life here, at least not yet. Regardless, snorkeling in a waterfall is always interesting. It not really a true falls. The river here tumbles through a series of cascading pools down a 45 degree slope. The falls are empty right now. There aren’t darters or river chubs or herring here. But I really didn’t expect them to be, at least not yet. A week from now I should start to see an explosion of darters here if they follow the pattern they did last year. On February 19 2012 the falls area was packed with them. But today, they aren’t here. I going on the hunch that the congregation of darters here is a seasonal thing and they haven’t congregated or emerged yet. I’m not sure which they do. I just know they became really abundant while the water was still cold in the biological idle of February last year. The hole in the middle of the falls was full of river chub last year. I’m not sure how they swam up the falls to get to this little pool, but there they were. And now I’m not sure where they went. I expected to see them in this deeper spot. The force of water is intense, and I cautiously plan my moves as I traverse the flow to keep from getting swept down the falls. They aren’t big, but the cascade over successive 3 foot falls for the total 10 foot drop would hurt. Life is here. It’s just not as obvious. A garden of algae covers the rock, even in the middle of the most forceful chute of water. I hope the darters return. I hope I see the herring return. I hope the big river chub fill the middle waterfall hole too. This spot remains a bit of a mystery to me. I didn’t expect to see the large congregations of fish here that I have over the past 2 years. I didn’t expect the herring to disappear last year. I wonder what unknown expectations these falls hold as the spring approaches. The falls might be empty right now, but they won’t be for long.

1 comment:

  1. What's better than oxygen rich water filled with bubbles and stunned insects tumbling into the waiting jaws of hungry fish? You my friend need to starting shooting video!