Sunday, January 23, 2011


Morning at John Martin Dam.

Waiting for the breaking moment of that light-of-hope over the horizon, it is easy to get caught up in the din from thousands of geese resting on the ice on the open water to the west.

"Just a quick peek at the geese," I tell myself, "then I'll walk back over to the east side of the dam. The rays will take a few minutes to shine over Lake Hasty; I have time."

Suddenly, the din grows several decibels; included is a sound similar to a new, large, long crack in the ice. Turning quickly I see the entire flock of snow geese that had been resting together - only seconds before, all rise up in unison. This is a sound I will never forget, a unique sound, frozen in my memory.

"How can all those little brains unite and synchronize in a split second and carry out the exact same thought?" It freezes my bones; this is a Nature-moment...forever in my soul.

They slowly circle about 10 feet in the air, a flowing, ethereal, perfectly choreographed dance known only to Nature and her insatiable need for beauty.

The light behind me grows.

The ice on Lake Hasty waits as the seconds pass...another stunning, fleeting sunrise presents itself!

John Martin Dam. Once again in the daylight.

A force of Nature, awaiting the 'forces of man' and his/her unending arguments, disputes and regulatory verbiage. To release or not to release...

The amount of water in John Martin Dam, according to the USGS, is 43,800 acre-feet on 1/23/11.

Ice covers most of the reservoir today. Geese - both Canadas and Snows, abound. Gulls are intermittent, in the corners and along the shadows of the rocks and outcroppings along the shores. A lonely Heron sits on the stilling basin ice. During the 3 years I have watched and photographed the stilling basin, a lone Heron consistently sits around the same spot on the north side - ice or water - about in the middle of the basin.

Another morning moment along the banks of Lake southeast John Martin Reservoir State Park.

As always...Nature prevails.

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