Sunday, April 17, 2011

Snake River waterfalls

The winter / spring 2011 water season is the wettest since we moved to Idaho.  Here in the Bear Lake Valley our precipitation is 151% of normal.  That means that the waterfalls along the Snake River will be blasting until the flow is decreased when the water is diverted for irrigation.  Linda and I drove to Twin Falls on Friday to explore the area, and on Saturday morning photographed Perrine Coulee waterfall and the only survivor of the original Twin Falls.  Then we met camera club friends Dave and Lynette Bower for lunch and together explored fabulous Shoshone Falls.
Perrine Coulee Falls drops 197 feet over the rim of the Snake River Canyon at Centennial Park.  The park is one of the few places in the area where you can drive into the canyon to the river.
The city of Twin Falls was named for similar "twin" waterfalls.  One was destroyed when the Snake River was dammed for a hydroelectric plant in 1935.

The surviving Twin Fall roars through a basalt slot in the Snake River Canyon.  In a dry year, or when the river is diverted for irrigation, its spectacular 125 foot drop will be reduced to a trickle.


The crown jewel of waterfalls in the Twin Falls area is spectacular Shoshone Falls.  Don't miss the chance to see it during a wet spring, but if you wait too long it will be a disappointment.  When this photo was taken it was flowing at the rate of 9200 cubic feet of water per second!

This waterfall is 212 feet high which is higher than Niagara Falls.  There are great viewpoints from a city park, but protect your camera gear because everything will get wet from the spray.  The falls produce beautiful rainbows on sunny afternoons as seen from this more distant viewpoint.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Transition

A change is coming to the Idaho high country.  Spring, also known as mud season, is starting in the Bear Lake Valley and the surrounding high country.  We have had a lot of snow and when it melts we put up with mud until the run-off subsides.

Just a few days ago the hills east of Montpelier still had snow, and I photographed this small herd of elk from our deck.  Now most of the snow is gone and the elk have left for the back country.

A young moose in neighboring Star Valley, Wyoming was content to rest in willows near the Salt River and let us take pictures.  Once in a while she nibbled a twig as we watched.

As the snow melts and bare ground appears, migrating sandhill cranes and Canada Geese look for food in fields where cattle are being fed.  These were seen between Montpelier and Ovid, Idaho.

Photographers, grab a long lens and come to the Bear Lake Valley to look for wildlife!