i On Niagara – Moss Garden

This is a pretty stunning place to see the American Falls. The talus rocks below are a virtual garden in green with moss and algae covering the rock. There are also wild flowers growing in this wet, yet harsh environment. I will show you above, below and right in the thick of things. Take a tour of the American Falls.

The Overview

Zoomed in photo from above the American Falls at the Observation Tower gives you an almost eye-level view. To access an interactive aerial view map click here. Click this map to note locations and see the park in its entirety.

Here is a wider view of out over Prospect Point. To see a topographic map of the area, click here. My street is shown.

And panning over to see the Horseshoe Falls. This is a long way down.

Amazingly beautiful view can be had from the Crow’s Nest. It is an observation point very close to the falls itself.

You get awfully wet and see the Falls full of fury.

It is like being in a rain storm when the winds shift.

Wet makes the algae and moss happy and green. Here you see a lot of algae.

Here you see tufts of deep green moss. When you think how moss has no roots, seeds, or vascular system, it has to work really hard to build up itself into a formidable infrastructure. It will send out millions of spores to start new growth of only a couple of inches and only a small number actually succeed.

The spores face huge odds to take hold of bare rock and reproduce. There are different varieties of moss and they are very specific to their growing habitats. With no vascular system to transport water, moss are dependent on consistent environmental water supplies, like here at the Falls. The wet conditions allow the moss to flourish in sunnier conditions than it normally would.

Also, the moss are specific to those organisms that use or inhabit it.

This area of the park is a place the wild flowers bloom. A wide variety change through the seasons.

It is a very big ‘garden’ that you access by the four high-speed elevators taking tourists to the bottom of the falls. The stairs take you up to the Crow’s Nest platform in which to get a very close and wet view of the Falls. You are not permitted to leave these paths because…

it is very slippery and dangerous.

The blooms here were all shot on the way to the base of the American Falls. Some make their home among the talus rocks. Other perennials, annuals and shrubs find this wet environment a nice place to grow.

I especially like the wild roses. Many varieties and colors can be found along the riverside trails.

The bright blue you see below are the rain ponchos provided when you take the Maid of the Mist tour. The Maid of the Mist has been in operation since 1846 and claims to be America’s oldest tourist attraction.

You ride an elevator down to the rivers shore and climb back up stairs to the see the falls from below.

175 feet down

Since it is mostly green, I am linking to Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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17 Responses to i On Niagara – Moss Garden

  1. debsgarden says:

    Sign me up for the Maid of the Mist tour! Your views are spectacular. I’ve never been to Niagara Falls. I hope I can visit someday! As a lover of moss, I know I would enjoy the moss and all the wildflowers, as well as the falls themselves.

    • Deb you must go north and see the falls and I can recommend the Maid of the Mist, I don’t usually follow the tourist route but this was one visit when I just had to do it all or as much as I could fit in, still got my blue poncho as a souvenir reminder :o) Frances

  2. elaine says:

    Absolutely spectacular.

  3. The contrast of colors in your photos are breath taking! I like that you featured moss…it is amazing when you think about how it grows and yet so simple in nature. Just wonderful!

  4. Andrea says:

    I seem to have been a frequent visitor of Niagara Falls, and i am because of following your every post. I might not be able to see it in this lifetime but I am very well informed. Experience is all embanked in the mind, so i have the falls experience. Maybe one of these days i should try meditating being there and experience all the mist, the elevator, the slippery walks, and the scary sound of the falls. Somehow in my subconscious i have this scared feeling in looking at those fierce waters, but i also love to follow those steps on foot. Riding on the ships to the falls i cant do though. I also love to be with you on your walks in the meadows above the falls, looking for wildflowers and taking photos. Oh how lovely this weekend will be with you!

  5. alistair says:

    Outstanding, what a sight to have on your doorstep, the pictures are absolutely terrific. I take it the American falls are an extension of Niagara on the USA side. Or is it that Americans tend not to call them Niagara. Alistair

  6. alistair says:

    Well Donna, that sure was a senior moment, your very heading (On Niagara) should answer my stupid question. Alistair

  7. Laurrie says:

    The falls and the photos you take of them are endlessly fascinating!

  8. you live in a wonderful place Donna though I suppose there are times when there are just too many visitors, thanks for bring back good memories (again) I also did a walk through a tunnel that comes out almost behind the falls (I think the horseshoe falls) got a yellow poncho for that one,

    moss is incredible I am amazed at how it can completely dry out when we have a dry period (like early summer this year) then puff up like a sponge when it rains and grow as if nothing had happened, it makes a great seedbed for opportunistic plants too,
    thanks Frances

  9. Christine says:

    Stunning photography!

  10. b-a-g says:

    The photo of the sun shining on the water spray is out of this world.
    I have pink rose just like the one you’ve posted here, it was labelled as old english shrub rose.

  11. Donna says:

    Donna I love moss and my garden grows quite a lovely amount especially in the back yard where there is shade, some sun and lots of water….lovely pics!!

  12. Bom says:

    Wonderful pictures, Donna! You had me trying to figure out if I could squeeze in a trip to the falls next year even if just to the US side. I’ll need to get the rest of the family more fit if we are to take the tour though. So much easier to walk down the 175 feet and just take the elevator back up. Hehe.

  13. Christina says:

    Thanks for linking into GBFD Donna and my apologies for not making a post for W4W this time, just presure of work. I must try to visit your beautiful country sometime soon, Christina

  14. Hey Donna,
    This is one the best posts I’ve seen in recent times. Just incredible pix.Have you any formal training?

  15. Andrew says:

    good site and it looks spectacular!

  16. Donna,
    Thanks for the beautiful pictures of the falls/gardens and your helpful explanation. Also thanks for the link to the stunning (interactive) aerial MAP! –John

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