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Wild Waterfall Notecard



Wild Waterfall

What is it about falling water that captivates us? We build parks around waterfalls. Couples get married at them. But waterfalls deep in the woods are appreciated more by woodpeckers and ravens than by people.

Perhaps the beauty of a hidden waterfall resonates with secret beauty in our hearts. Water falls at its own pace, unconcerned with the flow of traffic or information, or with the jangle of human thought. Perhaps it reminds us of our own natural flow and rhythms.

The woodpeckers did not come for the view or for the sounds of water splashing down the cliff. Called Pileated Woodpeckers, they plucked out strips of wood, creating the vertical slots in the tree stump, in order to snatch tasty carpenter ants inside with their long, sticky tongues.

The cliffs were mud before the dinosaurs stalked. Now, the rock is exposed by waterâ’s patient and ancient work. Cliff edges are places of extremes. The soils are thin and may be acidic. A ledge may give way, causing a tree to topple into the gorge. But the edge of a cliff is the sunniest spot around for the giants of the plant world, which compete to spread their leaves into the life-giving light.

– The Sweedler Preserve at Lick BrookFinger Lakes Land Trust

artwork by Susan Bull Riley © 2005

text by Tony Ingraham