Fall Snapshots
November 21, 2009
I keep driving up to Natural Dam with hopes of getting a picture of the waterfall with lightning behind it. Cliff and I ran up there when a thunderstorm moved through the area the evening of the fall equinox. Before I could set up the camera in a good location, we started getting pelted by huge raindrops. Cliff retreated to the Tahoe and I managed to take one quick photo before my lens got hit with several water droplets.
The following Saturday morning I drove up to Artist Point before work to catch the sunrise. There was some nice light fog in the valleys around Lake Fort Smith. When the sun rose above the ridges to the north of White Rock Mountain, the sunlight turned the tops of the wispy cloud banks a nice orange color.
On October 15 when I spent the day exploring Keefe Hollow, I stopped by Six Fingers Falls on the way home. Those studded felt-soled boots worked well as I crossed the slick bedrock of Falling Water Creek to photograph a scene looking back in the direction of the road.
Three days later I returned to Artist Point to witness the sun rising a little to the south of White Rock. The trees below Highway 71 were nearing peak fall colors.
That evening the boys and I drove to Mount Magazine to see how the fall foliage was coming along. We walked out to Solstice Point just as the long shadow of Cameron Point started to creep up the colorful mountainside below Mossback Ridge. We drove to the Petit Jean River valley overlook to watch the sun set behind the Sugarloaf Mountains across the state line 50 miles to the west.
Ten days later, on October 28, Cliff and I returned to Mount Magazine to take in the sunset from Cameron Bluff. We had an incredible view of the orange and yellow treetops below the bluffs bathed in late evening sunlight, and of the mountain below receding into the flatter terrain of the Arkansas river valley.
Friday evening October 30, I drove to Lick Branch in the Mulberry River drainage to enjoy the scenery. Earlier in the week I'd heard reports that the fall foliage was really nice in that area. I think I was a few days too late, as brown was the predominant color, though there were still plenty of splashes of oranges and yellow to make the trip worthwhile. On the drive out, I stopped at High Bank and made a quick walk up into the hollow with the twin waterfalls. I didn't photograph the falls, but on the way out I had to stop and try to record the scene facing downstream. It was getting dark within the steep hillsides of the hollow, yet looking out I could see the orange and pink light of sunset was bouncing off the clouds and coloring the fall foliage out in the more open Mulberry River valley.
Of course I still sneak off the Lee Creek park when the sky has the ingredients for a good sunset. Saturday evening, November 21, was such a case. It's getting harder to come up with a picture that doesn't look a lot like something I've taken, but I managed to back away from the river bank and get a shot with the overhanging branches of Silver Maples and Sycamores framing the shot and adding more sense of depth to the scene.