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Lick Branch
October 27, 2004
I took the afternoon off from work with the hopes of seeing some fall color combined with running water, since a big thunderstorm had just moved through. I’d been watching the weather radar map all morning and thought Lick Branch near the upper Mulberry River looked promising.
As soon as I made the turn north and started up Highway 23 I noticed there was more water in the ditches and streams than I'd ever seen in almost 20 years of driving up there, though I admit most of the times were in the driest parts of the year. Pig Trail Falls next to the highway were running full tilt, making the trip worth it early on. The little waterfall beside Turner Bend Store was also going great.
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I was running out of daylight by the time I reached Lick Branch. I parked at a spot near the Ozark Highlands Trail crossing and shot a bunch of pictures at one small area. I really wanted to see another hole downstream, but I kept finding different angles at the first spot that I had to shoot. Oh well, the Beech leaves were all brown anyway. Guess I’ll have to come back for that spot downstream another fall.
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A few miles farther up the road I turned onto Highway 215 going east. I snapped the photo at the bottom of this page at one of my favorite views along the Mulberry. It also happened to be the scene with the most color. I noticed the streams along the way weren’t running near as much compared to Pig Trail Falls -it seems the biggest part of the rain must have fallen south of the Mulberry.
Still, I had to pull over at High Bank and go see how the Twin Falls were doing. Both the stream flow and the fall colors were disappointing, but I decided to check out the steep hill side on the south side of the stream up near the top of the falls. Though I’d been down in this little canyon many times, I’d never been up on top.
It was drab and uninspiring up there, but I did pause to shoot some pictures of the stream down below behind some colorful Beech leaves. It took forever to get that picture. The temperature was quite warm for late October, high 60s, and the humidity was of course about as bad as it gets. I was hot and sweaty from the steep climb up, and every time I leaned into the camera both my glasses and the viewfinder would fog up after a few seconds. Then I’d have to lean back, take my glasses off, and wait for everything to clear up.