The Blue Hole
February 27, 2011
Johnny and I had a great morning, visiting the waterfalls in the Blue Hole special interest area northeast of Russellville. Ever since Zack and I visited the scenic area 16 months ago, and the sun came out to ruin our chance to take good pictures, I've longed to return. When Johnny told me he wanted to go find some waterfalls, the Blue Hole was the perfect choice.
I took advantage of the knowledge gained from the previous trip, and drove the Tahoe the half mile to the deer camp. Johnny and I dropped down the hill to the falls in Wolf Den Hollow. The weather was pretty warm for February, so I had no reservations about wading in the water for a good spot to take pictures.
On the south side of the falls, lush green moss not only blanketed the flat sandstone ledges, but draped over the edges. A closeup photo revealed that the moss had a branched structure similar to ferns.
We followed the stream from Wolf Den Hollow west about 150 yards to where Hurricane Creek comes in from the south. A different type of light green moss covered the flat rocks at the inside corner of the intersection. The moss grew in dense, bulbous clumps and had a soft, felt-like texture.
Johnny and I went headed up the south fork of Hurricane Creek. One small cascade was located just above the intersection with the Wolf Den Hollow stream. I spent a long time taking pictures at a beautiful spot just upstream where the water cascaded over a series of ledges spanning the entire width of the stream. The overall height was maybe 4 feet. The Alder bushes along the stream were laden with yellow catkins, which are slim cylindrical clusters of yellow flowers around two inches long.
I gazed upstream to see that the big waterfall on Hurricane Creek was shrouded in mist. As I waded up the creek toward the falls, I got sidetracked by a Witch-hazel bush full of bizarre flowers with stringy gold petals and red centers. I finally settled at the big falls and waited for the mist to clear long enough to snap some photos.
Johnny and I stayed until we'd taken in all the awesome scenery, then we followed a 4-wheeler road back northeast to the falls of Wolf Den Hollow. We crossed the creek and headed uphill toward the deer camp. We stopped to catch our breath several times on the way. At one of those stops, I noticed an interesting pattern of mint green lichen in the cracks of the bark on a big old pine tree.