Monday, March 9, 2015

Frozen Indian Falls - Spectacular!

The last of seven waterfalls I've visited the past two weeks was Indian Falls, just northwest of Owen Sound.  It is rapidly becoming my favourite!  I heard from someone else with a camera while at Inglis Falls that it was worth going to see, and wow, was it ever!

My smart co-explorer looked at the weather forecast, and suggested we go on Friday, which was a sunny day, with no weekend crowds.  It's about a 15 minute walk up the valley along the edge of the creek, or at some points right out on the ice.  As we got closer and came around the bend, this is what greeted us!  The first view was of incredible blue curtains of ice on the north side of the valley.

And a few steps further, past those cedars, and the view opened out to show us the whole waterfall, occupying the entire cliff at the head of the gorge.  The stream was open in a few places like this, but mostly frozen.  This week's warm weather may leave it unsafe to even try walking in here.

There was only one couple there when we arrived, and I got a good picture to show you the scale of the falls.  This falls is a straight vertical drop over the brow of the cliff, and the colours on this day were absolutely amazing.

The south half of the falls was a huge lumpy mound of ice, with a slightly yellowy colour, where water had obviously been running over top from the main flow in the creek, and building up thicker and thicker ice.  To the right of that was a section of vertical ice formations, in icy white.

On the north side were the amazing blue curtains of ice, not formed by water running over the top, but by water dripping out between lower layers of limestone, forming huge icicles.  I've never seen anything like this before at any waterfall!

My wife is a frequent volunteer photographer for couples she sees on our travels, so here she is (dressed up warm in her Yukon parka), taking a picture of the one couple who arrived when we were there.  Tomorrow I'll show you some closer pictures of the ice formations.

But for those of you who want the other seasonal view, I do have pictures of Indian Falls from late last October.  You can see the deep pool of water in the gorge, where we were standing on the ice.

Indian Falls is a wonderful geology lesson, a classic example of a bowl-shaped vertical falls dropping over the Manitoulin Limestone formation (upper half of the cliff) and eroding through the blue and then red layers of the Queeston Shale below (bottom half), creating a deep and steep sided gorge.

I did manage one of those 'slow-motion' pictures, without a tripod, last fall.  I must have leaned against a fencepost to get this picture at a slower speed.

Locals are giving credit to February's record-breaking excessively cold temperatures for this group of frozen waterfalls I've been visiting, including this one.  Who knows when this will happen again?  Today on the other hand, felt like spring, well above freezing for the first time in 8 weeks, bright and sunny.  It's suddenly a different world.

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23 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Any waterfall is pretty, but the one you portrayed here is especially nice.

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  2. So beautiful how the ice appears to be translucent blue in some spots. Isn't it a wonder that at some point in time it was cold enough to stop the water and freeze it solid. A wonder, for sure.

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  3. Amazing colors and formations. I am really enjoying your frozen waterfalls - without having to be cold.

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  4. That was really amazing to see it all frozen over. It is a regular beautiful falls in the summer but the winter view is fantastic.

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  5. Amazing waterfall! I can see why it's your favorite. Love the blue ice.

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  6. Frozen falls look too good and the earthen colours in the last two shots are so lively!

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  7. What a difference a little freezing weather makes. Out on the west coast we've had such a mild winter I'm really worried about summer. - Margy

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  8. Wow! They are surely spectacular!! I was so glad you included the photo of your wife taking photos - it gives it perspective as how big the falls actually are. Stunning!!

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  9. Spectacular indeed! Wonderful post and splendid photos.

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  10. Wow, I am seeing the frozen waterfall for the first time.

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  11. Gorgeous! I love the turquoise colours in the ice.

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  12. Wow, your frozen falls is beautiful. I love the blue ice.. The falls also looks pretty from back in October. Gorgeous photos. Have a happy day!

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  13. Beautiful! I'm glad you had some people to show how big this waterfall really is. And the pictures taken in October are stunning, too. Hard to believe it's the same place. :-)

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  14. Beautiful. It's always grand to see geology on action. We get a lot of it in Switzerland.

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  15. I love Indian Falls! But I have never seen it in winter!!

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  16. Oh WOW I'm left with awe. Like you said - it's spectacular.

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  17. Oh WOW I'm left with awe. Like you said - it's spectacular.

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  18. marvelous images. Such a beautiful spot in any season. I love to see waterfall and photograph them. wish there were more closer to me.

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  19. The color of "ice blue" is always fantastic. Many Michigan folks have been picturing the ice caves along Lake Superior shore. Too far for me to travel just to take pics though

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