Punchbowl Falls
The crystal clear water of Eagle Creek is cascading down the basalt cliffs into lower Punchbowl Falls in the Columbia River Gorge Wilderness. Water sprayed over the cliff faces seeps into cracks in the volcanic basalt. During the cold season and chilly nighttime temperatures this seep water freezes and mechanically cracks the bedrock breaking off small blocks. Over thousands of years this process formed bowl-shaped amphitheaters around the waterfalls. The shaded cool and moist cliffs are a hanging garden biotop for endemic cold climate species of the last ice age. Mosses, lichens and ferns grow in abundance. Occasionally trees are tumbling into the gorges whereupon their logs are polished in the creek. The laminar flow of the water during the long exposure time is blurring the dark basalt, reddish mudflow and light colored ash rocks on the creek bed.
August 2008
Canon 20D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm, f/16, 2 sec, ISO 100, tripod