niagara-falls-seagull

A seagull pooped on my head when I was at the Horseshoe Falls today. I was just about to take a picture of a forlorn little mottled seagull that had been panhandling me (in vain, since I had no food) when I felt a sudden hard splat. I hoped for a second that I’d just absentmindedly bumped my head on the tabletop umbrella, but one tentative pat with a bare hand confirmed the worst – I’d been bird-bombed. Thankfully, whoever had been eating pizza at my table before I arrived had left behind a half dozen clean napkins, which I put to use sopping the poop off my hair.

Yuck.

There are thousands of seagulls swirling and swooping (and, alas, pooping) at the falls. When I first noticed them during my visit last year, I figured they were there to scavenge leftover food at the outdoor seating areas, like they do everywhere else. And then some guy told me that the reason why there are so many seagulls is because of the newly dead and stunned fish that float to the surface after plunging over the falls. Millions of fish meet their maker there every year, so it’s literally a 24/7 all-you-can-eat smorgasbord for enterprising seagulls and other birds. I’m sure if you ventured out on a boat down-river, you could, with very little effort or fishing know-how, lower a net and haul it up overflowing with the fall’s bounty. This is good info to keep in mind in a SHTF scenario. Just look for a waterfall, and you’re good to go. No fishing rod required. Bears know best:

Bears know best

Niagara Falls is a funny place. I love the falls themselves – their unearthly beauty and raw power never cease to amaze me. But I don’t like the crowds and I don’t like the tackiness. I don’t like the gaudy lighting of the falls at night, and I don’t like the fireworks. I like the falls just as they are, and the rapids leading up to them, and the gorge down below. I like Niagara Falls the way God made them, not the way people have been making “amusements” to detract people away from the falls. I don’t like how the falls have been exploited, and I especially don’t like how the river has been diverted to keep the cash cow from running dry. The falls are actually less mighty than they should be because a large portion of the river is being diverted to keep the rock under the falls from eroding. If the falls go bye-bye, so does the industry that’s grown up around them.

Out of the mist that rises up from the base of the thundering water, a brilliant rainbow appears every sunny afternoon.  You can only see the rainbow from certain locations, depending on the angle of sunlight. I saw it this afternoon at around 4:30 when the Wego bus I was on pulled into Table Rock on its way to the VIA station. Even though I was running late, I got off the bus to get a better look. I couldn’t help myself. There’s no man-made light show on Earth, no matter how “spectacular”, that can compare with the rainbow that appears over Niagara Falls on a sunny afternoon. That’s a piece of Heaven right there.

a piece of Heaven

The lower the sun gets in the sky, the higher the rainbow gets until it rises fully out of the mist and fades back into Heaven. I’m going to Niagara Falls again in October, when there’ll be fewer people, and I’m going to spend a whole sunny afternoon at Horseshoe Falls waiting for the rainbow to appear. And I’m going to sit there and watch it climb higher and higher and higher and higher. These kinds of things – the rainbow over Niagara Falls, the miles and miles of miles and miles – these are what my trip is all about. I could do without everything man-made (except maybe for the train, the track it’s on, the occasional hotel, and Whole Foods [and Sammy the Salmon!]). I’m not here to see what “wonders” man has made, although I’m grateful for the practical infrastructure that’s been left behind. I’m here to see the wonders that God has made. That’s what interests me the most.

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