Practical Magic: Theory crafting water flow

Flooding gives an opportunity to catch slight water staining in the falling water. Deep pools above the fall which are fed by different gutters and overflows give distinct streams of water, some with high levels of sediment and some where the sediment has had a chance to settle.

That gives us the chance to do a mind experiment.

The mind processes dynamic water scenes slightly differently to other landscapes - some researchers think that the mind tries to recreate an 'internal' model of the fall, perhaps as a survival mechanism.

The 'internalization' of the waterfall is most evident out in the field, where the mind quickly stops registering water drops and moves to discerning large-scale patterns. Because of the separation of streams in this image, if you focus on the midpoint, count 5, and then rock your head sideways, you may feel the scene takes on a slight 3D feel.

If so, the waterfall has made it into your head. I prefer to think of this as us becoming the waterfall for a moment - a little practical magic (and infinitely more useful than the only other bit of magic i know, which is to turn a cat in a box into a squirrel and then back into a cat, provided you do not open the box).


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