Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Bee's Knees

While at Elkton, we did a long day trip over to Crater Lake. The lake is the deepest lake in the US, and the crater is what is left of a huge volcanic eruption almost 8000 years ago. The top 5000 feet of the mountain was blown off.

It's hard to accurately portray the lake in a picture - it measures 6 miles across! Wizard Island is the cinder cone that formed after the eruption.

The only other thing in the lake is over in the corner. It looks like a tiny ship, called "Phantom Ship," but it's actually 160 feet high.

On the way to Crater Lake are several waterfalls. The prettiest is probably Toketee Falls, a double-decker fall framed by basalt columns.

The waterfall would be even larger if most of the water were not diverted by an enormous 8-foot-thick wooden pipeline to a local power plant.

Watson Falls is one of the largest in Oregon - 272 feet tall.

The water from the falls winds down through lots of moss covered rocks.

The mossy rocks, the ferns and the little waterfalls were almost prettier than the big waterfall. Aren't they just the "Bee's Knees?"

What does that mean - Bee's Knees? It means the height of excellence, but what does it have to do with bees? The ECEC where we are staying has a large garden with lots of bees, so I set out to find out.

This guy is covered with pollen, and is certainly helping to pollinate everything, but I don't see anything special about his knees.

Ah hah! It turns out bees have pollen sacs on the knees of their back legs. They carry this concentrated goodness back to their hive, hence the term "Bee's Knees." Well, at least that's one theory on the origin of the term....


  1. When you started out with Crater Lake, I wondered where the Bee's Knees was going to lead. Great story and wonderful bee photos.

  2. I'm in love with your photography. I visited Crater Lake many years ago and the pictures sure bring back fond memories.

  3. Not only are the Crater Lake and waterfall pictures beautiful, the bees are amazing! How did you get them to stay still? I'd have been stung several times if I'd have tried.

  4. I like your theory on why it's called "Bees Knees!" Very fitting. Loved the waterfalls!

  5. "...but I don't see anything special about his knees."

    That made me giggle. I love the theory! And yes, those stones are the 'bee's knees.' Quite beautiful!

    I can't wait to visit Crater Lake; I keep seeing it on all of the full-timers' blogs!

  6. I particularly like the waterfall pictures. We will have to get to Oregon next year.

    I always thought that Lake Superior was the deepest lake in the USA, learn something every day.

  7. OH that lake is Awesome!! Imagine the blast that created it!! Does the water come in from a creek or an underground fissure, I wonder. Super waterfalls, and a wooden pipeline? that must be old..
    SO Now I know where the term bees knees came from never made sense to me either!! I have seen the legs all covered with the pollen balls, Very nice Photos in this post!!!!

  8. Wow that is just fascinating about the lake being there after the top being blown off by a volcano, it must have been huge. The pictures you took of the bees are just wonderful Diana, I bet you could turn your pictures into some magazines and make some moola or just do it for fun :o) thanks for sharing!

  9. The top 5000 feet!?! I didn't realize that. How amazing!

  10. Love your pictures once again! The area is fantastic and as I said before, I can't wait to make it out to that area to explore ourselves. Sometime in the future!

    Thanks for sharing and giving us such great ideas of places to go and visit.

    Kevin and Ruth

  11. great shots of Crater Lake!!!..and the bees!!


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