Did you know that they can adjust the amount of water that goes over the falls? I didn’t either! The power generation facilities on both sides of the river have the ability to divert more or less water through their tunnels, and there is actually a treaty agreement regulating the minimum amount of water that must go over the falls during the day (when the tourists are there to see it) and at night (when no one cares as much) as well as at different times of year. They can even (to some degree) shut the falls off – they did it once to the American Falls so the Army Corps of Engineers could reinforce the bedrock and put in some erosion controls!
Having sated our desire for dawn photos at the falls, J. and I decided to take a ride on the boat that takes you right up to the falls. It turned out not to be possible to take photos right up close to the falls, because there is so much spray that it’s sort of like standing in the shower with the water on full. We got completely drenched, even with ponchos on. However, the approach to falls through the gorge is incredibly beautiful.
Waterbirds seem to really like the area near the falls. In addition to the usual Herring Gulls and Cormorants we saw Bonaparte’s and Franklin’s Gulls, which have black hoods. I’d never seen them before, but there were a lot of them.
When I looked at this photo at home, my first thought was that it made the scene look kind of like a level in a video game. The falls on the left, with the rocks at the bottom, are the American Falls, which we passed at a moderate distance. In the centre and on the right are the Horseshoe Falls, which we went right up to. From below the falls are really impressive – the power of the water going over the edge is awesome.