Disappearing Act – Phantom Falls

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The seasonal Phantom Falls plunges over ancient volcanic basalt cliffs, in North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve, near Oroville, California.

The name of this photograph comes from the nature of this waterfall. Phantom Falls (in North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve, in the Chico/Oroville area, California) is so named because sometimes you see it, and sometimes you don't. It only appears after prolonged rain, towards the end of the wet season. And it can dry up rather quickly, too, with the hot sun as well as very absorbent volcanic ground. This photo was taken in mid to late spring, with probably only a few weeks of water flow left. But the grass was green and lush, and still hid a few poppy blossoms. The place truly came to life at sunset, when the shadows cast by the dramatic rock formations began to play games with the landscape.

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