Spring Photo Trips
June 12, 2005
Once again this last journal post for the season is a collection of photos from several brief outings made during the last few months.
I had to got up awful early Saturday morning, April 2 to beat the 6 a.m. sunrise. We hadn’t gotten enough rain to get the waterfalls going, and besides, the forecast called for bad photo weather (sunny skies) so I just drove down to Lee Creek near Rena Road to see what was going on. I snapped some pictures of the sunlit fog coming off the water, then went back home to get some more sleep.
One week later I hurried down to Lee Creek Park to shoot the sunset. I was at least 10 minutes late, and barely caught the sun before it sank behind the mountains. In fact, I had to stop the truck in the middle of the road to get that single shot.
Thursday afternoon, April 14, Joey and I drove up to White Rock to take in the great view and hopefully get some sunset shots. When we first arrived, the gold, yellow and light green newborn leaves were glowing from the side light of the sinking sun. That plus the long shadows and the white spots of a thousand dogwood blossoms in the understory made for a compelling scene, but by the time I got the camera setup the sun had faded behind a thick haze above the horizon. I snapped some photos anyway, including the shot at the top of this page, but the magic had already passed. The sun turned a deep red as it sunk behind the mountains, thanks to a thick layer of smoke from some controlled burns by the forest service.
Two evenings later I returned and was treated to a repeat performance by the sun.
Joey kept telling me about all the cool stuff along the nearby Crack-in-the-Rock trail at Lee Creek Reservoir until Friday evening, April 15, I finally went with him to see for myself.  There are two nice waterfalls a short distance apart. The smaller one was still running from an inch of rain we’d received at the start of the week. The other fall is a tall skinny one that makes a true drop over an overhanging ledge about 15 to 20 feet above a small pool. It wasn't running enough to make a good photo, but I have no doubt it runs well after a good rain.
Saturday afternoon, April 16, Stacey and I took the boys fishing at the city park lake. Cliff was more interested in exploring the hillside behind us, and he called me over more than once to see lizards scampering around.
My trip to Graves Creek Canyon on June 12 was an all-out hike down and back up the side of a mountain in hot, humid weather. This was the last desperate attempt of the season at maybe catching some waterfalls in action - it seems the Big Piney area was the only one consistently receiving much rain.
I had one heck of a time finding a spot to enter the canyon. The southern bank of the creek on my side was a ledge at least 10 feet tall for a long section. I took the picture at right from above the ledge. I finally found a way into the canyon, and though I lugged around my backpack, camera, and tripod, I never took another photo. Sometimes I’m just not in the right mood.
Friday evening, April 22, I made yet another trip down to Lee Creek park. I must have completely missed the sun setting, because all of my photos from then are similar to the one below. I do remember that I parked my truck next to a gate blocking an abandoned picnic area, then walked the short distance down to the Arkansas river bank. As I was setting up the camera I heard a shout behind me - it was Joey, who had been down at the boat ramp taking pictures. We stood there shooting the bull for at least ten minutes, not really paying attention to the sky, when I glanced through the camera viewfinder and realized there was a pretty nice shot in front of me.
What I most remember about that evening was the great mood I was in on the drive home. Your spirits can be lifted quite a lot by a peaceful half hour outdoors with nice scenery. That’s the real reason I go on all these short photo trips.