Photo courtesy of Charity:Water

A snowflake falls. And then another.

They collect each winter on the slopes of Younts Peak, part of the Absaroka Mountain Range that outlines¬†the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park. Landing softly…one on top of the other…they tightly intertwine their six-cornered sides in preparation for a long hibernation.

In the spring their journey begins.

Rising temperatures break apart each fallen flake, slowly releasing the droplets of water resting inside. And then, one after the other, the drops begin to roll off their winter bed and down the peak…over and over and over again. Some fall to the left and some to the right. But all reunite at the convergence of the northern and southern forks of the Yellowstone River.

Rolling now in unified motion, the drops begin to hasten their pace, chiseling down the riverbed and carving out more twisted turns, until eventually feeding into Yellowstone Lake. Here they sunbathe at length, casually streaming in and out of the lake’s calm waters before moving on once again.

Exiting the north side of the lake, the water drops race through Yellowstone National Park tucked tightly inside bronze-colored stone walls. They move with ease. Jumping back and forth under the morning sun without care.

Until their floor falls out from under them.

Just 13 miles on their new journey, the drops hurtle 109 feet at the park’s Upper Falls…and then plunge another 308 feet at the Lower Falls deep into the Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. And it’s here, on the morning of August 2nd, 2012, that I captured those drops, rolling over the Lower Falls and catching the sun’s glare in a spectacular color spectrum.

 

When you think about it, water comes from somewhere. It has it’s own journey from origin to destination. I thank you for helping to route fresh drops of clean water to those in the Sahel Region who need it.

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