Behind the falls

With all the snow and ice melting this week, I decided to get some photos of frozen waterfalls before they disappeared.  The largest waterfall in the Twin Cities, Minnehaha Falls, was pretty spectacular in the morning sun.

The falls were still well frozen, but slick with melt water running down columns of ice.  The ice had taken on a surprising number of hues from white to blue to yellow to amber colors.  The person in the photo isn't really on a trail, but I figured if she could walk down to the waterfall, so could I.

The falls were still well frozen, but slick with melt water running down columns of ice. The ice had taken on a surprising number of hues from white to blue to yellow to amber colors. The person in the photo isn’t really on a trail, but I figured if she could walk down to the waterfall, so could I.

The trail down to the falls takes you directly into the cave behind the falls.  You can see the entrance on the right.

The trail down to the falls takes you directly into the cave behind the falls. You can see the entrance on the right.

Looking across to the other side of the falls, there is a light blue waterfall.

Looking across to the other side of the falls, there is a light blue waterfall.  I took a photo from the opening between the ice columns (see second to last photo below).

An ice curtain hung over the door to the cave behind the falls.

An ice curtain hung over the door to the cave behind the falls.

White, blue, and amber colored ice columns hang down from the cave lip, but there is 10-15 feet of ice-covered rock floor to walk on behind the ice columns.

White, blue, and amber colored ice columns hang down from the cave lip, but there is 10-15 feet of ice-covered rock floor to walk on behind the ice columns.

The blue color of some of the ice surprised me.  I thought only glacial ice was blue, due to compression of the layers.  Wikipedia says ice is blue for the same reason that water is blue -- because OH bonds absorb the red parts of the spectrum, reflecting blue back.

The blue color of some of the ice surprised me. I thought only glacial ice was blue, due to compression of the layers. Wikipedia says ice is blue for the same reason that water is blue — because O-H bonds in water absorb the red parts of the spectrum, reflecting blue back.

A look at the blue waterfall through the hole in the ice curtains seen in the second photo above.

A look at the blue waterfall through the hole in the ice curtains seen in the third photo.

A slippery walk down a closed stairway brought me to a platform the overlooked the whole basin.  Good thing I wore my crampons!

A slippery walk down a closed stairway brought me to a bridge over Minnehaha creek that overlooked the whole waterfall. What a magical place!

8 thoughts on “Behind the falls

    • I have visited the falls in he summer, but been totally intimidated about getting anywhere near the waterfall because it throws off so much water.

  1. Pingback: Another Trip to Beaver Brook Falls | New Hampshire Garden Solutions

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