Dangerous Beauty

June 11, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

I love to photograph waterfalls; especially with a neutral density filter which allows for longer shutter speeds to blur the water.  I've wanted to photograph Burney Falls for sometime and I had the chance this past week as I passed through Redding, California on my way back from Oregon.  These falls are located in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, about an hour east of Redding, not too far from the north entrance to Lassen National Park. This is probably the prettiest of all the waterfalls in California.  Besides the main falls, spilling from the river above and dropping 129 feet to the pool below, its beauty (in my opinion) comes from the cascading fingers of water discharging from an underground spring as it flows out from the porous rock on the face of the falls.  Similar to several waterfalls in northern Oregon like Proxy and Ramona Falls, which are also on my list of places to photograph. Burney Falls can be viewed safely from a lookout point above, or at near pool level below, on a one mile loop trail. The water averages a very cool 47 degrees.  While we were there, the water was a frigid 41 degrees.   Although there hadn't been a death at Burney Falls for over 30 years, shortly after these pictures were taken, a 16 year old teenager fell in and drowned.  Allegedly, he went into an out of bounds area on the far side of falls trying to make his way down to the pool, where he slipped, hit his head, and went under the turbulent water beneath the falls.  I didn't personally witness the accident as we had moved away from the pool, hiking on the trail loop, climbing up to the top of the falls on the other side.  Apparently, the accident took place just moments before and below where the last picture (through the trees) was taken.  It is a somber reminder that nature's beauty can come with a sudden dose of lethal danger.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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