It had never, ever occurred to me during the four years since becoming an almost daily walker in Charles Towne Landing and proudly wearing my “self-dubbed” title, #1 Rainbow Chaser, that I would NOT be able to rainbow chase regularly. But my regular rainbow chasing on No. 1 Fountain, located in the lagoon next to the Legare Waring House, ended in May, 2013, and lasted until the second “Race The Landing” Race, May, 2014.
#1 Fountain was installed in early 2010 and after a couple of years of continual running, it would develop some mechanical problems, have to be taken out of the lagoon and go to the repair shop for a few days. And those guys responsible for repairs under that five-year warranty became less eager to respond promptly and efficiently.
A year ago the fountain was removed for repairs and after reinstallation, it was different. It did not make rainbows anymore. The waterflow was different with the height very controlled, no water mist rose from the center, there was louder mechanical running noise and it behaved totally differently. The fountain’s failure to make rainbows was totally incomprehensible and devastating.
It ran for a few weeks and developed more difficulties. It was shut down. Months passed without progress. I think in early April Rob Powell told me they had found a company in Georgetown that would honor the warranty and make the necessary repairs. The local maintenance guys took it out of the water, and transported it to Georgetown.
Upon inspection, they immediately found that after the repairs a year before, one of the important parts had been reinstalled upside down. This error explained and caused the severe change in the fountain’s flow, level of noise, performance. etc. And that was why it quit making rainbows.
When I arrived at Founder’s Hall to work the Race The Landing second race May 8, Rob told me the fountain had been installed that day. When the shuttle dropped me at my water station, I raced the few feet to the lagoon. I had heard the sound of the water flowing before getting there, but to see the fountain again in all its grandeur was totally awesome. I was “over the rainbow” with happiness.
The next morning I was out very early for my walk. I needed to rainbow chase again to discover the time the sun was located in the right spot to see the color, how long it lasted, exactly where the color was visible, etc.
For the past year it had not mattered what time I walked. There was no urgent reason to get up and get going early. Now I have a schedule to meet with a narrow timeframe.
I enjoyed the rainbows on the No. 2 Fountain at the Visitor Center, but they are predictable and not a challenge to see. No. 2 Fountain had also given problems during this period. The water flow had dropped until finally there was hardly any. The maintenance group pulled that fountain out of the water, cleaned it, performed appropriate maintenance, reinstalled it, and that fountain is performing better than ever. It was surreal; for several days no fountain flowed at Charles Towne Landing.
So, on that Friday morning I confirmed that #1 Fountain still makes rainbows. The sun is in position by 8:55 am to cause color on the left side of the fountain; the sun moves left fairly rapidly and allows all of the colors to arrive. Show’s over by about 9:15 am. That is a much shorter time frame than I remember previously, because I could follow the color around the yard of the Legare-Waring House until about 10 am. My daily “chasin'” should reveal the effects of time of year, etc.
The sun must be brilliant to cause brilliant colors on the fountain. These conditions are not available every day. I find this rainbow chasing fascinating and addictive. I was distracted and delighted by five Canada geese loitering on the edge of the lagoon. They were around for a couple of days and then disappeared. I had heard a sad story that one of the Canada geese had been widowed.
My time spent at CTL is always fascinating and rewarding with unexpected surprises. But rainbow chasing is just the best thing of all!
Betty P. White