Sunday, April 15, 2012

Berry Creek Falls, Big Basin

(from BayerCruz Youtube channel)

Ran up there from Waddell Beach, after a quick visit to Pescadero Marsh (was that little trail there before?) I posted a video because still frames of waterfalls miss a lot. The sound is part of it but the whole reason a waterfall attracts our attention is the motion. Animals (and babies) look for longer at things that surprise them (this is used in experiments) and I always wonder if that's why we find waterfalls interesting. Do other primates? Do dogs?

I'm very glad I went. With all the recent weather it was roaring, much higher volume than this, and I wasn't even thinking about the falls specifically, I just wanted to hit this trail before I left the Bay Area. There were two crossings out but it was still fun, picking my way across make-shift bridges - there would be no fording this stream. But when I first saw the white roar up ahead through the green I remembered why this trail was so great.

I've been pretty stressed recently and the immediate sense of relief that came from looking at these falls for a few minutes - just looking at them and enjoying the summed splatter of all this water - was overwhelming. It's like forced mindfulness, looking at the trails the water takes down the rocks, and the way it's atomized to vague mist at the bottom but crisp and clear at the top as the first streams clear the ledge; looking back and forth at the two is like a contrast bath for your eyes. The ecozones on the rock face next to waterfalls are also cool - watching how the plant community changes in just a few feet, showing us a temperature-and-humidity time average over months and years. But mostly it's the black rocks and the white water and the green moss, and the rush of the falls after the rain that's the best. It was a good day.

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