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6: Water falls

Dear Friend,


Hi again, it’s so good of you to be here, thanks for reading; I’ll try to make this quick, there’s always lots of other things that you could be doing … reading a letter shouldn’t be a laborious time-suck.


What have you been up to? Is it about football today? Are you throwing a party? Tossing a salad? Flipping a chip? Maybe you are enjoying the quiet outdoors while others are throwing and tossing and flipping?


Or maybe you are outdoors and it isn’t quiet. Birds are singing and off in the distance, you can hear the constant whoosh of water, falling.


Water falls. Gravity pulls it from higher places to lower places, from way up on mountaintops down, down, to the big blue sea. And as it moves along, water lifts and carries bits of this and that, pebbles, sticks, (abrasives) which, over time, help the water erode streambeds, cut through softer rock and slice deep gullies into the earth. Water tumbles along. The hard rock remains…

… and, like a staircase, the water tumbles down, often having to fall great distances over cliffs before continuing on. As the streams flow downhill, they meet each other in the canyon, and a river is formed.  

When I was a little kid, I wondered about things. And if, while on a hike near a waterfall, I had suddenly needed to know how much water was pouring over the side of a cliff, I could have asked my rocket-scientist-Dad and he would have quickly and quietly pulled a pen and a 3/5 card from his shirt pocket and drawn the following equation Ep = mgh. Then he would have said,

To which I would have said, “Wow, that’s a lot!” 

I miss you, Dad.

The beauty of a water fall, of water falling, and the feeling of being in nature, it’s good and real. You’ve probably heard of the positivity of negative ions? Nature seems to make us feel better. But why? Read ALL ABOUT NEGATIVE IONS

It is important to me that I spout accurate information in my letters to you. But Science is still searching for ways to prove things … “Is kindness really good for health?” “Do trees really emit helpful energy?” “Are negative ions really all that?” Those sorts of things… all waiting to be proven, but that doesn’t mean that we should wait for test results before being kind, hugging trees, or being grateful for every moment we can soak up the goodnesses out in nature.


Frank took a solo day trip one rainy day last week. Well, he wasn't entirely alone, his camera went with him. He knew that a particular canyon would have a lot of water flowing and it would be a perfect opportunity for waterfall photography.


He parked at Pantoll Ranger Station on the western side of Mount Tamalpias (Mt. Tam) in Marin County, California. He’s been hiking there by himself since he was 14 years old. Though it’s the same trail, he has seen it change over the years. The trees fall, the water reroutes, but this particular trail through the temperate rainforest, is always green, always magical.

Frank began photographing this trail when he was 22. But before that, he just hiked here and in other coastal forests because he loved the feeling of being in the trees. He’d leave his home in San Rafael and hitchhike to Mt. Tam. or catch the Golden Gate Transit and get off at the stop in Fairfax, then hitch a ride to Olema and hike to the ocean from there. His journeys out into nature happened organically, with very little planning, but work always came first. As a 7th grader, he had a job after-school and weekends at the Elk’s Club, bussing tables and setting up events; that job bridged into others and though he would never miss work, he would often skip school… what better classroom than this?

And as a professional photographer, his subjects come first, his connection with them, their spark, mood, story...

Thank you for your good thinks. We always appreciate knowing that you care. (Such knowledge is not scientifically supported, but we’re living in and with it anyway).

Please write when you have some time, we’d love to know how you’re doing!


Wishing you a happy day and a really good week ahead!


Gently Be,

Leslie and Frank


As I’ve mentioned recently, my website is undergoing changes which should be behind the scenes. Thank you for your patience if you encounter glitches.




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