In "The Song of Hiawatha" there's a reference to "golden waters." Wipe that smirk off your face. It's a reference to the cola-colored effluvia that flows through Upper Peninsula rivers, dyed by the tannins in hemlock needles. Nowhere does this color impress more than at Tahquamenon Falls, the second highest falls (after Niagara) east of the Mississippi.
Loggers who sent their hard-won trees down the Tahquamenon River wept when they saw old-growth trees "reduced to matchsticks" by the power of the falls.
I was there simply to gawk. This is one impressive piece of water.
Photo by an unknown Japanese tourist who asked me to take his picture, so I hit him up for mine. Yes, it was that cold.
It's impossible to stand at the falls and not imagine oneself swept over, in an errant canoe or, for whatever reason, swimming. I lost myself in the amber tumult, thinking about what that
It's hard to convey how impressive these falls are in a still photo, without the roar and the flying spray, without the immense scale.
Getting a bit farther away, so the mature trees are in the picture, helps.
I was impressed by a lone spruce, growing with its feet practically in the falls, and apparently doing all right.
But I was even more struck by a tiny white cedar sapling, growing IN the falls. It was buffeted by the flume, coming up every few seconds for a breath of air. I couldn't believe it not only germinated there but survived that punishment, day in and day out, all night long, too. But it was alive.
Ever feel like that little tree in the waterfall?