Lick Branch
March 7, 2008
In the five years since I took up this hobby of outdoor photography, opportunities for taking pictures in the snow have been few and far between. I'm lucky to get a single photo with snow each winter, even though I put a lot of effort into it.
I had snow on the brain the first week of March, as we kept getting weather forecasts for it. I scheduled the morning off from work for that Friday in hopes the weather man was right. When I woke up and looked outside, there was just a light dusting on the back patio. But I knew that the mountains might have gotten a lot more snow, so I headed out anyway.
My destination was Lick Branch in the Mulberry River drainage. I fell in love with this little creek the first time by chance I drove along the county road that runs beside it. I visit it several times a year now. I've always imagined it would look pretty when covered with snow.
I was right about there being more snow up in the mountains. As I headed north on Highway 23 out of Ozark the landscape got whiter and whiter. By the time I crossed the Mulberry River at Turner Bend everything was covered. The trees were especially pretty.
I turned east onto Highway 215 and followed the river 11 miles to where Little Mulberry Creek flows into the Mulberry River, then I turned north onto a county road that follows the creek. The drive along both Mulberrys is always nice; there are many large pastures backed by mountains and bluffs.
Another turn to the north brought me alongside Lick Branch. After passing one small piece of private property the road runs right next to the creek. The scene wasn't as nice as I'd imagined, mainly because apparently the snow had melted on all the boulders in and around the water. Likewise most of the snow on the bank had melted.
Still, a small waterfall made for a pretty scene and I got out and took pictures for an hour starting at 7:20.
Next I got back in the truck and drove to an area downstream with some nice big boulders. I parked the truck and scouted around for some possible shots, but when I returned to the truck I couldn't find my keys. I spent a nervous half-hour on my hands and knees crawling over the path I'd walked, and finally spotted half a key sticking up from a pile of snow next to the truck. I proceeded to take pictures for a while, my last one being at 9:30.
On the drive out I felt frustrated that I was surrounded by all the incredible beauty yet didn't recognize any scenes I felt would make good pictures. Perhaps I was overwhelmed. For sure I'm a pessimist a lot, saying to myself "no, that's not such a great shot." And definitely most of the time I wait until I see something that I'm compelled to shoot. As I crossed the Little Mulberry, the scene looking upstream was one I had to capture.