Getting Colorful with Aquascaping: Frozen Pink Waterfall Delights Residents in Uptown NYC

Pink Waterfall in NYC

A pink waterfall in NYC was a pleasant surprise for passers-by.
Image source: Inhabitat.com

What would somebody think if he were walking along a secluded forest path and stumbled upon a frozen waterfall with pink and blue icicles? Well, you might think you’d discovered some divine miracle, or that you’d accidentally located the handiwork of a magical woodland fairy. Or perhaps you would more likely assume that it was a clever advertising stunt or the work of an enterprising artist.

When embers of the Inwood Community Group centered in uptown Manhattan discovered just such a waterfall, they gathered on Facebook to discuss possibilities for the icy beauty’s mysterious origins. One poster thought that it might be harmless highway salt. Another assumed that it was from the minerals in the rock. Another simply stated, “Whatever the cause, my three-year old daughter will be completely thrilled to see this.”

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink… and blue, and purple…
Image source: Inhabitat.com

After a bit of Internet sleuthing, people eventually pieced together that the multicolored waterfalls had a more intentional origin. Sherman Creek campus director Jason Smith confirmed that the display was the handiwork of local photographer Luis Baez-Correa. For the past several months, Baez-Correa has been patiently building the waterfalls with squirt guns filled with colored water.

Baez-Correa’s exhibit has been a hit success. Passers-by may have no idea what could have caused such a colorful display, but that hasn’t stopped them from admiring the frozen waterfall and cheerfully snapping selfies, because the results are so unusually pretty. Jason Smith called it, “the most successful art installation Highbridge Park has seen for a while.”

Baez-Correa's Frozen Waterfall

Baez-Correa’s frozen waterfall was created by using squirt guns filled with food coloring!
Image source: Inhabitat.com

Baez-Correa’s artwork presents an excellent opportunity to discuss the flexibility of multicolored hues when aquascaping. Baez-Correa’s strategy of using food dye is perfectly acceptable when aquascaping without any fish or plants. As soon as you start adding life forms, however, you’ll need to consider other options.

Lighting is certainly the easiest solution. Most modern aquarium lighting fixtures use LEDs, which are categorically better than conventional lightbulbs. They’re more shatter resistant, they consume less electricity, they don’t put out nearly as much heat, and (best of all) they can shift through every color of the rainbow. You can easily shift the color of your aquascape to suit you mood—a soothing blue for relaxing after work, an exciting green when you’re hosting a party, or a romantic red when you’re cooking dinner for that special someone.

And of course, let’s not forget that colored glass can add another layer of beauty. Imagine viewing an aquarium through an elaborate stained-glass window. Between the brightly colored glass and the tropical fish, you’d have quite the explosion of color! But that’s taking the idea to the extreme—you might be better off tinting the glass a slight hue, or creating patches of color on the glass that color fish as they swim past.

Between food dye, color-changing LEDs, and tinted glass, you have a near infinite number of color possibilities with your custom aquascape—anything from purple waterfalls to hot pink aquariums or orange outdoor ponds… or maybe even a colored ice castle!

Indoor Waterfalls: The Perfect Peaceful Complement to Your Design Aquarium

Indoor Waterfall

An indoor waterfall is a guaranteed source of both peace and conversation.
Image from trendir.com

When you think about having water-based art and architecture in your homes, chances are you think of aquariums- or, if you are thinking a little outside the box, you might lean toward a koi pond. So now you have that. You’ve gotten your fish or more exotic non-fish sea creatures, gotten an expert to help design it and set it up, and then: you’ve got it. The perfect house, a melting pot of man and nature. Or so you think. There is a lot more you can do with a house to complement your aquarium or pond, and one exciting new development is the indoor waterfall.

Now, if you are worried that the Niagara is going to come crashing through your roof, don’t worry: far from being a roaring example of nature’s terrible power, an indoor waterfall can bring more peace and relaxation into your house. And isn’t that one of the main reasons why you have a home, after all? It’s a shelter from the troubles lurking outside. A waterfall helps keep those troubles even further at bay.

There are a few types, so let’s take a look at some of them, from the easy to the extravagant. (Note: these are different than the waterfall that might be installed in your indoor pond.)

TABLETOP WATERFALL

I want to clarify something here. When I talk about “waterfalls,” I am talking about something different than a fountain. Both evoke water in a natural running, and even falling, state, but a fountain has two actions: water generally shoots from somewhere, no matter how gently, before falling like a rain. But waterfalls are slightly different. The water is meant to be cascading, even if interrupted by rocks. It is a constant falling motion, and it is that motion which gives them their power.

Tabletop waterfalls can go anywhere– you don’t need a constant water source, just a strong enough pump. Some of the finest ones are like the one pictured above, a mini-mountain, which can provide the relaxing, soothing, and even hypnotizing sounds of falling water. And if it is on your desk, and you are anything like me, you’ll stare at it, imagining mini-caves toward which to escape, to project yourself into. It isn’t quite a vacation, but letting your mind gambol through the wet crags can be a great respite during the work day.

STANDING WATERFALLS 

There are a couple of different ways to go with this. You can do a more natural, but still artistic look, like a bigger version of the waterfall above, or you can go with a more abstract, modern look.

Now, clearly, the endless flat wall of water isn’t something that exists in nature, but that doesn’t take away from its primal beauty and relaxing nature (in nature, fires don’t occur in specially-dug pits or designated places, but we still love looking into flickering flames). This has its own thrilling nature precisely because it is so unnatural. It is the soft flow of water harnessed for your enjoyment, but it is not tamed. It is a reminder of the shocking power of waterfalls, without the danger. To me, this evokes the feeling of being inside on a rainy day, hearing the gentle rush of your waterfall behind you and the rain beating all around your house, soft but insistent, and feeling a deep sense of contentment.

WALL-MOUNTED WATERFALLS

Indoor waterfall

A wall-mounted waterfall gives a sense of permanence.
Image from diynetwork.com

This is the big one, and not for everyone. There are a lot of variations in size on all of these – the standing waterfall can be as big as a wall – but the wall mounting gives you a chance to do something different. For me, the important distinction is the possibility of a backstop. The wall pictured above has a slate base over which the water falls, giving the impression of rock, for a more natural look. You can also have a blue background, which is a neat aesthetic trick. With all of these waterfalls, there is a smooth and thin layer of water pouring down, but with a backdrop that reminds us of water (which we think of as blue, despite having no color on its own), so there is a greater sense of depth. So keep that in mind when deciding.

Indoor waterfalls can be anything from a zen-inspiring object on your desk to a Nirvana-transporting object of permanent art on your wall. Along with a design aquarium, the waterfall will surround you with nature’s power and glory, while keeping you at peace.

5 Psychological Reasons Why Humans Love Water

You know those Corona commercials where you see a scantily clad couple chilling by the water’s edge, relaxing and taking in the sun? Those commercials are designed to make us buy beer, and they do that by associating the product with a feeling of calming relaxation.

But why is an image of the ocean so relaxing? Have you ever stopped and wondered why humans find bodies of water so beautiful and calming?

It’s pretty simple, actually. Our species is designed to benefit from the water, so it becomes genetically advantageous for people to be attracted to water. Here are 5 reasons why humans are irresistibly drawn to water.

5. Clams Make Your Brain Grow

The one thing that differentiates us from the animals is the fact that we have huge brains. Because we eat meat, it’s much easier for us to get the fats and proteins that we need to build our giant brains. Crabs, clams, and fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which dramatically increase brain growth.

Over time, humans who preferred seaside locations got better nutrients and stayed healthy, so they passed on that proclivity to their offspring.

4. Fish Literally Makes You Happy

This aspect is pretty similar to #5 on the list, but different enough to be its own reason. Seafood not only makes your brain bigger, but it also makes your brain happier. Scientists have discovered a direct link between the amount of seafood eaten and depression. Cultures and locales that eat buckets of fish stick will smile a lot more than their cousins farther inland.

3. Humans Aren’t the Only Species to Love Water

A lot of the advantages that come from water apply to other animals, so bodies of water indicate excellent hunting grounds. Humans who have lived near bodies of water have a much easier time hunting game, particularly around rivers and lakes. It’s much easier to maintain a balanced diet when there are an abundance of mammals, birds, fish, and plants growing at water’s edge that can be harvested for food.

2. Waterfalls are Better than Lakes

I’ve been to Niagara Falls. It’s beautiful beyond any mere description, so I wont even try to describe what it was like. Is there a reason why people fly from all over the world to see Niagara Falls, but most people won’t even cross state lines to see Lake Erie or Lake Ontario, the 2 lakes that compose Niagara Falls?

Yes, actually. The only way to have flowing water is from rainwater, and rainwater is just about the freshest, healthiest source of water available to early humans. Famous poet William Blake once wrote, “Expect poison from the standing water,” which helps to capture this concept. We are drawn to waterfalls because we unconsciously associate waterfalls and flowing water with clean, healthy drinking water.

1. It’s Like Returning Home

I thought about making the #1 reason “Because we need water to live,” but that’s just a little bit too obvious. Let’s stir things up a bit by talking about evolutionary theory.

Bears and dogs are both land mammals, while dolphins and seals are aquatic mammals. Notice a difference between the two? Dolphins and seals are completely smooth, an adaptation that makes it easier to swim in water. In fact, virtually every hairless species of mammal (there are a few exceptions, like the naked mole rat) spent time in water.

So, why are humans virtually hairless compared to other apes? The favored theory now is that our ancestors spent most of their times swimming around. Coincidentally, that also explains why babies know how to swim.