After I posted the video I took in May I went up to check on how the spillway at Arrowrock is doing now.
We had a very wet winter and the snowpack in the upper watershed is at 200% of normal. For the last several days we’ve had our first real warming trend, with temperatures getting into the 90s. Seems the water is coming down!
Arrowrock Dam on the Boise River was complete in 1915. For nine years it was the tallest dam in the world. It was built to hold back water to feed the newly completed New York Canal, the largest of the irrigation projects in the Boise Valley.
As a kid I was fascinated by the massive spillway that passes to the north of the dam. Unfortunately it seems running the spillway is tough on the bull trout that call Arrowrock Reservoir home and use of the spillway was curtailed some time ago.
Until this year. We have a record snowpack and it seems running the spillway has become an option!
I checked it out on Thursday, May 18, 2017 and sure enough the spillway was running! Here’s a little three-minute movie about it.
The day after I posted this video of the spillway running I checked the spillway out again. It has warmed up and the snowpack in the upper elevations is melting. The spillway is no longer running. It is gushing —
On Sunday, August 14, 2016, I took a little stroll up Camelback Hill just up the street from my home. On this path I usually stop at a favorite spot for a little thanking the Gods for their beautiful existence. Just as I got to my thanking spot the sun emerged from the overcast.
The light caught the dried grasses of our southern Idaho hills and turned them golden.
And did a fine job of lighting up Boise.
Fortunately I took some photos before pausing for my thank-yous. By the time the Gods were properly greeted the sun was again behind the cloud and the golden was gone.
Not only does the sun make cars into ovens, it is the fastest way to fade paint and deteriorate a car’s interior. For these two reasons I never worry about walking across a large parking lot. The only consideration I have for summertime parking is finding shade.
Winters are different, of course. The low sun neither heats the car up nor damages dashboards. From November to March, I forget about looking for shade.
Every March, when the temperature gets near sixty and we have a sunny day, I find myself thinking, “Is the sun hot enough and will I be parked long enough to heat up the car?”
Not that it really matters. We are in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and our winters are cold enough so when warm, sunny days start in the spring the trees do not yet have their leaves.
Even so, there is one place I can park in the shade of trees even though they do not have leaves. From what I can tell the trees are ornamental pears and their blossoms are thick.
Like moon shadows, I always get a particular joy from parking in the shade of flowers.