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Artist Point
April 11 & 16, 2005

More often than not we have these small weather systems come through and only drop rainfall in isolated areas, so I pay a lot of attention to the radar images on television and the internet to see where the waterfalls might be running. It looked like northern Crawford County was the place to be following some Sunday night and Monday morning rains, problem was there weren’t any waterfalls in that area that were on The List. A quick check of the waterfall guidebook suggested Artist Point. I had this (incorrect) notion that the waterfalls were small and not worth a tough hike, but it was a short drive so I took the afternoon off from work and headed that way.
As it turned out, the steep but short hike down a good trail wasn’t that bad, and the waterfalls were really nice. I didn’t have too much daylight left and had to walk right on past a bunch of stuff I normally would have stopped and enjoyed, including wildflowers, a small natural rock bridge, and indian carvings. I first spent about a half hour at a series of falls above where the trail ends.
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There were at least three more levels of falls below the trail’s end. It was getting pretty dark by the time I shot pictures there. The falls are on the east side of the mountain and in shadow at sunset.
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It really bugged me that I came away from the Artist Point trail with nothing but waterfall pictures, so the following Saturday morning I returned to photograph the other stuff. I took in the sunrise from a nice deck beside the Artist Point Gift Shop. You never hear the term “spring foliage” but it’s almost as nice as fall foliage, especially when it’s lit up by the early morning or late evening sun.
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Back down along the trail, I found the Crested Irises had started to bloom. There hadn’t been any blooms earlier in the week. The small pink Rue Anemones were still putting on a show, and the drooping yellow Bellwort flowers dotted the hillside. I also saw a lot of purple Wood Violet but didn’t get any good photos of them.
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The natural rock bridge was a single block-shaped boulder spanning a small feeder stream. There were indian carvings in two different rock formations along the trail. The carvings had been highlighted with paint to make them stand out.
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Before leaving  I wanted to get a picture of the gift shop especially for this web page. I shot pictures from several different angles and distances, and picked the one that best shows how this landmark is nestled in the Ozarks.
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