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Ripples_art--small.jpgBy Jim McCloskey

I was a bit startled to read that the University of Alabama intends to put a waterfall feature in its football team’s locker room.

I’m as quick to advise anyone who will listen of the wisdom of being around moving water.  It conditions the air, settles the nerves, eases the spirit, masks the world’s noises and offers at least a dozen additional benefits, so there’s a slippery logic to placing what’s being described as a small cascade in the space.

But I have to wonder if they’ve really thought this through:  When I sit down near a waterfall, all aggression flows from my mind and body, I relax almost immediately and I usually have to be torn away from my perch.  Is this what you really want for a championship-caliber football program?  I can’t see the value in mellowing the team out before the game or at halftime.

Maybe the idea was proposed by someone with secret ties to Ol’ Miss or LSU or Auburn or Georgia Tech?  As much as I like the thought, this idea makes no sense to me.


I recently returned from a visit to Yosemite and the eastern slope of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.  

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High above Yosemite Valley on Glacier Point, Judy and I looked out over Half Dome and gained amazing perspectives on Yosemite Falls and the combined cascades of Nevada and Vernal Falls.
The galleries of images on display here represents just a fraction of what we saw through five days of perfect weather, family fun, good fellowship and great times.  

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On the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas, we saw things we'd never seen before, including Rainbow Falls (right near the amazing Devil's Postpile) and Convict Lake (with its wildly twisting rock backdrop).
These are special places, and it’s a privilege to live within such easy driving distance of their majesty.


I note with pleasure that two wonderful watershapes have recently come back online after long downtimes resulting from major renovations:  The Point State Park Fountain in Pittsburgh was recommissioned amid great fanfare a few weeks ago, and the lily pond in San Diego’s Balboa Park is also back in the swim after repairs were made to redress the damage done by an overly enthusiastic water fight last year.

Work on the main fountain array at Longwood Gardens in southeastern Pennsylvania is still under way, and I understand that a restoration project with Rome’s spectacular Trevi Fountain is about to get going.  Here’s hoping that work on these brilliant watershapes proceeds swiftly so they can be enjoyed by anyone who travels within striking distance:  Both will be worth the trip!

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