Sunday, March 6, 2016

Big Falls, Little Falls

Another bright, cold, blue-sky day today, and I started out to visit Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton.  I was curious to see if any Skunk Cabbages had begun to swell their spathes in the muddy swales out there, but an even more compelling curiosity grabbed me as I passed the intersection of Parkhurst and Greenfield Roads, recalling a spectacular waterfall that plunged through a gorge nearby.  Sure, I told myself, let's go see if there's water plunging though it today.  And there sure was!  I could hear it roaring as I parked my car near Strakos Road, where the Snook Kill runs under the highway.  I could see it, too, as I clambered over the roadside barrier and started down the steep embankment.  Oh look!  Some thoughtful person has strung a rope down the precipitous slippery descent.  A very good idea!  Wouldn't want to slide into that freezing cataract today!

I actually did not use that rope to descend the bank, but carefully inched my way, clinging to trees as I went, to a small promontory that provided me with a good, clear view of the falls.  This is a gorgeous waterfall!  (Kind of a scary one, too!)

I was glad I had thought to stop to view the beautiful Snook Kill Falls, but I'm also glad I continued on to Orra Phelps, where I found another beautiful waterfall, only this one in miniature.  Coincidentally, this little stream that runs through the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve is called the Little Snook Kill.

At a point near the eastern border of the nature preserve, a second stream joins the Little Snook Kill. (I don't know the name of this second stream.)

I was struck today by the fact that this second stream appeared to be completely clear of ice.

While the Little Snook Kill was still thickly encrusted with white honeycombed ice.  I wonder why the difference?  Is the Little Snook shallower?  Is the second stream deeper and more rapid, so that ice never formed there this winter?  Just at a glance from where I stood on the bank, I could not see much difference. Hmmm . . . .  A new mystery to ponder.

I will ponder this mystery while I rest up for the next couple of days.  I've having cataract replacement surgery tomorrow (Monday) morning, and I'm supposed to take it easy for a little while.  So think good thoughts about my eyeballs, dear friends, so I can be back out again promptly, looking for signs of spring as the predicted warmer weather moves in on us.


Uta said...

Wishing you all the best on your surgery and hope that you can see the colors of the flowers even more beautiful.

Woody Meristem said...

Pretty, pretty waterfalls.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful waterfall-often wonder how the early settlers crossed the falls.... Greenfield-Wilton Road was well traveled as it was part of a major trail from Canada to Schenectady....also the steel house on Strakos Road is another site to be seen !

We were thinking of your Moreau Lake with the recent NYT's article about 'lake bubbles'

Anonymous said...

The Steel house in Wilton: