Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The waterfalls by Willow Creek

Back in September, I had found a "dry waterfall". I imagined that it would look great with water pouring over it and said that I would have to go back some time when it's raining. Of course, hiking in the rain usually isn't much fun, so I wondered if I would ever really do that.

We've had a lot of rain the past week or so, and probably more than an inch from Monday to Tuesday. It was raining pretty hard as I drove home yesterday, but looked like it was starting to clear up by the time I got home. I decided that yesterday was probably the best opportunity I would have to see that waterfall for a long time, so I went.

Along the way, the sun came out and there was a beautiful rainbow in front of me. I wasn't planning to take any pictures of it (I had to get to the waterfalls before it got too dark), but it was a very unusual rainbow. It was a double rainbow, which isn't too unusual, but there was also a third vertical piece between the other two. I had never seen intersecting rainbows before and at first I thought that what I was seeing was impossible. I rolled down the window and blinked a few times, but it was still there, so I took some pictures. Turns out that what I saw can be caused by reflected sunlight. Usually the light producing such rainbows is reflected off a body of water. I think that in my case it might have been reflected off the wet streets. There are plenty of long, flat streets in this part of the valley that would be ideal for reflecting sunlight.

Another rare photograph of intersecting rainbows.

I was worried that the water might have already stopped flowing when I got out there. I couldn't see any water anywhere out there, and the desert does seem to soak up water fast. Along the path to the waterfall, though, I could hear water trickling through the stream to my left. As I started down the steep bank to Willow Creek, I could hear water rushing below. Lots of water. There was quite a bit in Willow Creek. Well, it looked like a lot to me. The most I've seen in there before is none.

Willow Creek

As I made the short video of Willow Creek above, I could hear water pouring over waterfalls to my left. I hurried over there and there were several waterfalls. It was better than I'd hoped.

Waterfalls on a Willow Creek tributary.

I never did get any good pictures of the first big drop. I haven't found a good vantage point to see it. Also, I didn't bring a tripod with me. That wasn't very smart. I wanted to take long exposures to get that soft effect with the water, but that's hard to do without a tripod. I also had to take long exposures because it was getting dark fast. Not only had the sun set, but clouds were moving in again. Shortly after I got back to the house, it was raining hard again. I had the perfect window in which to get these pictures and videos.


Here you can see a little bit of the first big drop at the top.

I'm going to get some neutral density filters and carry a tripod with me in case it rains again some time. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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