Eighty feet to thunder...!

(Disclaimer: don't try this at home or away!)

I don't know whether the thunder was coming from the falls or my heart as I hiked to my personal edge.... I love adrenaline, but I never expected to witness beauty this powerful. Not only did I feel the cold spray on my face but also water was dropping hard on my head, dripping down in icicles through the shale above. This little tour was not in the guide book. No tethers, no ice picks, no axe: just my boots and my camera on the ice, eighty feet away from thunder. I was standing where you see the "a" in casey on my watermark.

The recent cold has frozen the Niagara Gorge for the second time this year. Ice formations float on the water and the whirlpool is calm. Bergs calve off from the shore and spin in lazy circles, and the blues and greens in the ice are spectacular. The mist rises over the gorge and the only thing missing is the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys)....

The water level in the Niagara River above the Falls is really low this month: the rocks on the bottom are covered in about five to seven inches of water. It's not natural evaporation, either. Between October and March, a Canada/US treaty allows for the flow of water over the Falls to be cut by 75 per cent, with the water diverted for hydro power, adminstered by Ontario Hydro. In the summer, 50 per cent is diverted at night. This diversion is not to conserve water, but it does slow the rate of erosion.

Some images from my unguided tour are posted in the Frozen Bits section on this site.

For more crazy fun facts about the Falls, e.g. do fish go over the falls? (Yes) and fascinating info about the time the Falls stood still (Fact #2) visit niagarafrontier.com

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