Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Devil's Throat

Today's post relates to yesterday's post about Devil's Gate Dam. Take a look at that picture again. The crows sit atop a vertical grate, and we're looking inside that grate here. Ground level is where the water's pouring in.

A shout out to Ted for sending me back to that Wikipedia link! A shout out to Trish, too. Yesterday, Trish commented that her grandfather said the grate is idiot-proofing and crap prevention. (Well, Trish's granddad called it a "cr@p preventer" but I have no idea how to pronounce that.) Other than that I think Trish's grandfather's probably right. For one thing, branches and trees float free after the spring rains, and though the smaller debris can get through this it keeps the larger stuff out.

And it's idiot-proof. I couldn't get in there. But I got the camera in.

Anyone who lives around here knows I didn't take these pictures within the last couple of months. It's way too dry these days. If I remember correctly I took them last May, after the spring waters withdrew.

(To be honest, I didn't remember at all. Sprocket's guardian Becca had to set me straight. Shout out to Becca! Also a shout out to Barbara, who visits here regularly and even checked in when she was away for a few weeks in England. I'm honored, thank you, Barbara. The Devil's throat is getting sore from shouting out.)

Back to the dam: there are more pictures of the inner workings and a larger perspective shot of the west end of it on Overdog today. I hope you'll have a look.


Laurie said...

Those shots on Overdog really give a sense of how massive it is. Now, what are you doing prowling around a dam, young lady? I like the architectural interest in all the pictures -- angles, angles, angles.

Oh, your big headshot over there is just gorgeous. NO angles there, except for wonderful cheekbones! :-)

Kelly said...

This is a really intersting shot! I love the title! Sorry to have been missing your posts lately! Too much on my plate here. I loved getting caught up today!

Virginia said...

Well we are goin' to hell in a handbasket for sure now! I guess a dam's innards is something I have not seen until now. Thanks for the look see.

Bernie K. said...

Youf unny.

Webradio said...

Hello Petrea !

Brrr ! It's "sinistre"...

Trish said...

LOL! cr@p is pronounced the same way as crap...but it tends to make the censors happier if it not spelled correctly. Gets the point across.

In your pic, on the page, not the expanded view---the curved cross piece looks almost like wood. Even the vertical pieces looked a little like wood until I expanded the photo.

I mentioned my grandfather because he was a pioneer in the cross-connection control and hydraulic research field (i.e. making sure your drinking water and cr@p water don't mix)---ergo, he knew a skosh about water and the pieces of pipe that control it. He also lived not more than 3 miles away from this dam for almost 50 years, so we talked about it often.

Not only do the pieces prevent stuff from clogging the main (or whatever piece in place for water flow), but it prevents idiot people from nosing around there and getting stuck or drowning in a flash flood or somehow mucking up the process. People will do stupid things if you give them the chance! This one is a two-fer.

Petrea said...

Laurie, you're sweet! Oh, I like to nose around places where I can get good shots. It's not an off-limits spot, just out-of-the-way.

Kelly, you know I know the feeling!

Virginia, this is one small part of the dam's innards. It's so massive that it's got all kinds of innards.

Youf unny, too, Bernie.

I hadn't thought it was sinister, Webradio, but other people see the photos this way, too. Interesting.

Trish: it explains why people drown in the LA river after the rains every time, no matter what, even when they're warned over and over again about the dangers. Ever hear about The Darwin Awards?

Webradio said...

Petrea, in France, we ca say "rue coupe-gorges" ; perhaps in english : Cut-throat street...

Trish said...

Yes, have heard of the Darwin Awards, had a near experience with one many years ago---bank hits the panic button when held up, sheriff calls the bank to confirm. Teller gives an exact description of robber. Sheriff asks how they can be so specific. Teller says "because the guy is sitting on the bus stop across the street, waiting for the bus". duuuur!

Not exactly how I'd like to go---stuck by the force of water to the bars of a dam.

Ted Thompson said...

I used to white water canoe, and you're right, you don't want to go that way. So many folks underestimate the power of water in those situations.

Even if your the strongest person alive, the water will win.

For some reason I was thinking this was the DOWNstream side, but I see now it's the UPstream side of the dam. I'm used to dams holding back water 24/7 but I guess (as we see) the upstream side runs dry when it's a flood control dam.

All the dams around Baltimore (when I was born) are holding back reservoirs for the cities drinking water, so they are always wet to some degree.

(Oh, and thanks for the shout Petrea, glad I could contribute!)

Katie said...

Interesting to see the inner workings of this place! I hope we get plenty of rain this year; I'm worried about drought. Looking forward to keeping up with life in Pasadena while I'm on vaca. You've got your own button on my iPod Touch!

Ms M said...

Fascinating shots! Great angles and lines in the way you framed them. And they visually demonstrate how impressive this dam is.
And interesting info from Trish about her grandfather's knowledge. I liked the cr@p protector, too :-) And, she's right; too often we have to protect people from their own stupid choices.

Petrea said...

Exactement, Webradio. Votre traduction est parfait!

So trish, I'm wondering who you were in the bank scenario: Sheriff? Teller? Not the guy at the bus stop...

Ted, "the water will win" is chilling but brilliant.

I don't know my downstream from my upstream, but in yesterday's pic if there had been water, Boz and I would have been under it. We were facing south with the mountains behind us. The water generally comes from mountain runoff during spring rains; it rushes right to that spot at the dam. It can be a trickle or, if we're lucky, it can get up high. If it's at the top we're having flooding elsewhere in town.

Katie, you honor me! If you show just one teeny photo of mine to Eric T. I can die happy. Not soon, but eventually.

Thank you, Ms M. I agree about the info from trish's grandfather, too. That kind of info is golden.

I've really loved the input about these dam photos. I have plenty more because I like taking photos there. Might save them for a rainy day.

USelaine said...

Dam photos? You're too hard on yourself.

USelaine said...

Silly me. You must have meant these are your, "Dam, I'm good!" photos.

Petrea said...

That, and you and I both need spelling lessons.