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Single Photos
March 13, 2010
Whenever one or both of my boys notice that I'm about to go somewhere (other than work), they'll ask where I'm going and then maybe ask if they can go with me. I never can tell whether or not they'll be interested in going. Sometimes I try to talk them in to it because I think they'll like where I'm going, but they say no. And in the instance on Saturday afternoon, December 5, I told Cliff he'd find my scouting trip to Forked Mountain boring, yet he still wanted to go along.
I've developed an addiction to the fried chicken wings from Wal Mart's deli, and we stopped in Russellville to get a big bag to eat on the drive down Highway 7. At Forked Mountain I found a location to view and hopefully photograph the upcoming Geminid meteor shower. I snapped a handheld photo of the mountain's profile at dusk.
The next morning I went on a solo scouting trip to Buzzards Roost Rocks to get familiar with a good hiking route down below the natural stone arch and to find a good spot to place the camera for a sunrise shot at Winter Solstice. It was a cold, overcast day and everything looked so bland that I didn't take any photos. When I got back to the Tahoe I went for a long drive along Indian Creek to the east. It seemed to be another Ozark stream full of waterfall possibilities that I might get to explore before anybody else in recent times.
Late Monday night, December 14, Cliff and I drove to Forked Mountain to watch the meteor shower and set up the camera timer to take photos through the night. The clouds weren't cooperative and hid most of the stars, so we crawled into the back of the Tahoe to get some sleep. Some time in the early morning hours, the clouds thinned out for a while and the camera caught a meteor in the frame.
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For the past couple of winters, I've been trying to get a photo of the sun rising behind Mount Magazine. My vantage point has been a new street surrounded by undeveloped housing lots right in Van Buren, on the hill we called Eagles Nest when I was a kid. It won't be long before the street is full of houses and I won't be able to get that picture. On January 18 I made another attempt to get that picture. The clouds blocked out the sun when it came up, but not before I snapped a photo of some colorful clouds behind some bare oak trees.
On January 31, following another winter ice storm, Johnny and I went on a road trip in Kim's Jeep through the Ozarks to enjoy the sights and hopefully take a photo or two. We drove to Russellville then took Highway 7 up to Jasper. On the way we stopped at one of the overlooks with a view of a foggy Big Creek valley. At Jasper we took Highway 74 east, and pulled over for a photo of Red Rock Point. We continued to Mount Judea then took Highway 123 for a thrilling drive with sharp turns up to Sam's Throne. We returned to Highway 7 and drove back to Jasper for lunch at the Ozark Cafe. From there we took Highway 74 west to Boxley, Highway 21 to Kingston,  then we  took Highway 74 to Highway 23 where we turned south and drove through the mountains back to I-40.  It was a long drive, and we could have stopped and taken pictures every 5 minutes but instead opted to enjoy the views.
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On Sunday afternoon, February 7, Cliff and I drove to the south side of Mount Magazine to check out a place where the headwaters of West Lacey Creek crossed a bluff line. As I expected, we found a tall waterfall. The top of the mountain was still covered in snow, but the snow was melting and feeding the waterfalls. We returned home in time to watch the Super Bowl.
Overnight we got one of the prettiest snows I've seen since I got in to photography... there was thick snow sticking to all the trees and bushes. For years I've been trying to get a photo of Natural Dam in the snow. I drove there and wouldn't you know it, down in the valley there wasn't much snow sticking to the trees. I took a few shots from the bridge but they weren't all that great. The mountainside off in the distance was nice and white though.
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Saturday morning, February 27, I drove up before sunrise to Artist Point hoping to see fog in the valleys below. There wasn't any fog, but the sun sure was pretty as it rose behind White Rock Mountain.
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When I got home early from work Saturday afternoon, March 13, Grant and Fisher asked me to take them on a hike. I had been holding on to a printout of a nearby Geocache description for just this kind of situation. We drove up to Lee Creek Reservoir and headed down the Homestead Trail in search for the cache, aptly named The Devil Tree for a scary old tree with a curved trunk and a crown of multiple branches. The boys found the cache, then we continued up the trail a ways. At some point we jumped to a different section of the loop trail, and we couldn't tell if we were going closer to or farther away from the parking area. Of course we had the GPS receiver to give us clues, and we eventually returned to the Devil Tree and then knew the way back to the Tahoe.
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