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Nature Photography

Cherokee Falls

After enjoying Hemlock Falls, I hiked up the canyon and headed upstream along the trail – and then back downhill, again – to see the 60-foot tall Cherokee Falls. Part of the Cloudland Canyon State Park, in Georgia, it’s a short hike & well worth the visit!

Prints

If you’d be interested in a print of any kind, visit my shop at Pixels.

Enjoy the great outdoors!

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Science Fiction Space

Exploring Space

An astronaut sets foot upon a distant planet with what appears to be tufts of green grass? Guests are encouraged to visit my shops at Redbubble and/or Pixels to see more. Hope to see you soon!

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Nature Science Fiction

Foggy Mountain Landscape

Several miles from camp, I sat in my canoe without a compass as I watched the day fade into evening, uncertain as to which direction to paddle. Then I realized – hey, this is only a digital landscape created using Byrce software…I can take my time! Haha.

You can find this design in my shop at Pixels on wall art, home decor, face masks, apparel, etc.. Hope to see you soon!

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Nature Photography

Conasauga Falls

I recently had the opportunity to visit Conasauga Falls, a scenic waterfall located in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. At a distance of 1.3 miles out and back, the trail is rated as moderately difficult with a change in elevation of approx. 400-feet.

The trail has two switchbacks and no level stretches – it’s either all downhill, or uphill on the return. During my visit the creek was full, thereby reducing availability of access to other areas. However, if you wish to proceed downstream along the hillside, there is a minor path but it’s steep and very slippery – use caution!

The 3 mile road to the falls is a combination of paved and gravel, with areas where the pavement has deteriorated, and also deep potholes where the gravel begins. It’s not a major problem, but certainly good advice to drive slowly & steer clear of the hazards.

You can also read about my first visit to Conasauga Falls, last year.

Conasauga Falls

The trail is well kept and easy walking, except toward the bottom where some careful navigation over/around rocks is necessary. Steps finish the trail, leading hikers to the primary viewing area.

Downstream

Beyond Conasauga Falls and along a muddy embankment, I cautiously found my way to a lower elevation around a slight bend in the creek. I was greeted by the morning sun cresting over the highpoint of the Cherokee National Forest, casting a golden-green reflection from hillside foliage across the shallow water. What a sight!

Upstream

Prints

If you’d be interested in a print of any kind, visit my shop at Pixels.

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Nature Photography

Triple Falls On Bruce Creek

Following recent rains, I decided that it was worth the sacrifice of wet feet & muddy shoes in exchange for the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Triple Falls (a.k.a., Little Egypt), located on Bruce Creek, near Caryville, Tennessee.

To begin, there are more than three waterfalls along this one mile out and back hike. The “triple” component of its name refers to three primary ledges from which water falls, engineered many decades ago via construction which rerouted Bruce Creek, in order to accommodate the development of highway I-75.

For those hikers interested in a mountain-top view, the trail continues beyond the waterfalls to Devil’s Racetrack, along a very steep ascent with many switchbacks. Here are a few pictures from a previous visit to the top…

Prints

If you’d be interested in a print of any kind, visit my shop at Pixels.

Planning a visit?

I arrived at Triple Falls before 7:30 a.m., and, to my delight, was the only person on site for the entirety of my nearly three-hour visit! However, if you happen to visit the area during nice weather on a weekend, you can expect to see several hikers along the trail. Parking is limited, with overflow along either side of Shelton Hollow Drive. It’s not a State Park and there aren’t any signs at the trailhead, nor restrooms or water. Instead, it’s marked by several boulders on your right. If you can look beyond some graffiti and discarded litter near the road, as well as traffic noise from I-75 (which dissipates with distance), you’ll certainly enjoy the hike!

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Science Fiction Space

Planetary Surfaces

Looking down on the surface of a planet deep in outer space, it didn’t take much time for the mission commander to conclude that this terrain would be far too dangerous to attempt a landing…

Actually, this digital artwork features a macro perspective of a fractal design extruded in three dimensional space. It’s available now in my gallery on some cool, out of sight items – check it out!

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Science Fiction Structures

Reflections of Another World

A strange metallic surface in hues of gold, with jagged peaks, glowing orange orb and blue skies…I must be dreaming. An adventure awaits those who visit my shops at Society 6 and/or Pixels, where you’ll discover many great gift-giving ideas!!!

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Nature Photography

Rock Island Waterfall

On my road trip to Rock Island State Park, I hiked in the gorge to the front set of waterfalls – seen here, standing approx. 30-feet tall. Prints available.

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Nature Photography

Trail In The Forest

This black and white photograph features a trail in the forest, as seen along my hike to Denny Cove Falls. The path turns to the left, following the upper contours of a large valley in the background.

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Nature Photography

Cascades At Burgess Falls

As the title suggests, these flowing cascades were photographed while visiting Burgess Falls State Park, in TN. Prints available.

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Miscellaneous Nature

Favorite Recent Video

A few weeks ago → After approx. 5 miles, I finally reached Virgin Falls. In addition to the substantial volume of water flowing, an unusual outcropping of rock with a tree on top provided visual interest. So much so, that I made a video of it; as follows, my favorite recent video

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Nature Photography

Falling Water

I shot this waterfall while exploring off trail on a recent hike in TN.

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Nature Photography

Sheep Cave

Along the trail on my Hike To Virgin Falls, I came upon a few signs leading me to Sheep Cave – a cave in the side of a mountain from which Little Laurel Creek re-emerges, flowing over a series of waterfalls before disappearing into a deep cavern underground.

It’s always interesting to see water flowing from a cave – also observed at Lost Creek State Natural Area, an adjoining park. Here, it moved over two waterfalls, the top of which was accessible via cautious maneuvers along a muddy hillside. See below…

Prints

A wide variety of prints are available for your home & office spaces.

Thanks for visiting!

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Nature Photography

Big Laurel Falls

Along my Hike To Virgin Falls, I encountered Big Branch Falls, and, in two miles, had the opportunity to enjoy Big Laurel Falls.

At 40-feet tall, the water flows over a rock ledge and then vanishes underground into a large network of caves. The recessed overhang allows for easy access behind the falls, though rocks are damp and quite slippery – hikers should use caution!

Prints

Prints are available in my gallery – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and acrylic. If purchasing a framed print, customization options include: size, frame, mat, paper and finish. Many other items, also.

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Nature Photography

Hike To Virgin Falls

Finally, I hiked the trail to Virgin Falls!

Located at the Virgin Falls State Natural Area in White County, Tennessee, Virgin Falls stands an impressive 110-feet tall. Emerging from a cave, water flows over the waterfalls and then disappears underground into another cave at the bottom of the sink.

Situated atop a mammoth cavern system, other areas along the trail – Big Laurel Creek, Big Laurel Falls and Little Laurel Creek at Sheep Cave – also vanish underground. If in the future I ever feel compelled to explore these caverns, there are over seven miles of mapped passages to hike (with flashlights & headlamps). Hmm…

Because there were several areas of interest along my 10 mile hike, this blog post will focus on Virgin Falls, specifically. In the days ahead, I’ll also include links referencing these other areas:

Along the hike, you’ll be tempted to go off trail sightseeing, as I did. Beauty is everywhere and many spots are accessible, but be cautious – danger awaits the unsuspecting in various forms (damp rocks with a thin layer of moss, slick mud under a blanket of dead leaves along a hillside, loose rocks underfoot). I fell once – moss!

The main trail is marked with a white blaze. Just follow the signs –

Cables are provided in four areas to assist hikers along the trail –

Virgin Falls

Despite the ground being saturated from recent rain, and with total cloud-cover overhead, this was nevertheless a wonderful, scenic hike! Due to the volume of water falling, though, there was significant wind & mist generated (listen to the video, below) – thus, making it virtually impossible to photograph directly in the front of the waterfall.

Prints

I’ve added several of these photographs to my gallery at Pixels. If you’d be interested in a print for your home, office, or, as a gift for family members and friends, then stop by to select from a variety of print types – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and acrylic. Framed prints may also be customized – size, frame, mat, paper and finish. Hope to see you soon!

Stay tuned…more to come!

Categories
Nature Photography

Jack Rock Falls

Following my hike at Debord Falls & Emory Gap Falls, I returned to my vehicle and drove to the nearby Obed Wild And Scenic River National Park, located near Wartburg, Tennessee.

After a short hike, I arrived at the scenic Jack Rock Falls. Standing 25-feet tall, I’d seen this waterfall on two previous occasions, each of which during relatively drier times. Following recent rains, it seemed that a return visit would be appropriate.

After taking photographs and enjoying this peaceful setting for a spell, I wondered…

…this waterfall is at a much higher elevation than Clear Creek, below. Might there be additional points of interest downstream worthy of exploration?

It seemed like a good bet, and so it began. I traversed along a steep hillside, weaved in and around trees and plants, and, when possible, climbed atop boulders hoping to glance what lay ahead. I could see some indication of an area where the rocks ended – a drop – but wouldn’t know with certainty until I arrived.

Moving downhill and around a cluster of moss covered rocks, I would soon see that which I’d hoped to find – another waterfall. Awesome! While I’m sure that others have enjoyed this spot, it was challenging to access without a trail, and I was grateful to have found such a beautiful place to enjoy.

Prints

Prints are available. Stop by for a visit to review a variety of selections – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and acrylic. Enjoy!

Categories
Nature Photography

Splashing Waterfall

This close-up photograph highlights a waterfall located along Richland Creek, near the Laurel-Snow Trail in Dayton, Tennessee. Guests may visit my gallery for prints and more. Thanks!

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Nature Photography

Rainbow Falls In The Smoky Mountains

Located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee near Gatlinburg, the trail to Rainbow Falls (80 feet) ascends the northern slopes of Mount LeConte (6,593 feet). Despite being rated as a difficult hike, the 2.75 mile trail to the falls is heavily trafficked with a constant incline over sometimes rugged terrain. With many switchbacks, it has an elevation gain of 1,653 feet and is one of six separate routes up the mountain. During warm weather, hikers should consider arriving early to secure a parking space, as the lot fills quickly.

If hiking during winter months, come prepared with proper clothing – the falls are above the frost line and temperatures can be quite cold. Here’s a photograph from my hike in March, 2019:

Above The Frost Line

Photographs

Fortunately, the weather was wonderful during my recent visit, as evident in the following scenes…

Prints

Interested in a print for your home or office? If so, then visit my shop at Pixels to select from a variety of available print types, including: framed, canvas, art, metal, acrylic and wood. Other items, also.

Thanks for stopping by!

Video

Here’s a video of Rainbow Falls

Categories
Nature Photography

Return To Lost Creek Falls

Following a stop at Piney Falls – more on that in a subsequent post – I drove for a second time to visit the Lost Creek State Natural Area. This time, though seasonal foliage was absent, the volume of water flowing was bolstered by recent rainfall and provided wonderful scenery.

See earlier post: Lost Creek Falls

Though a recent Year In Review entry highlighted Cummins Falls as my favorite waterfall, Lost Creek Falls – when taken in totality – certainly ranks as a contender for such accolades. While the magnitude of beauty is less, there’s simply more to enjoy!

Notes of Interest

Water in the plunge pool at the base of the 50′ Lost Creek Falls disappears completely underground by draining into a “sink” (or bowl), though a small surface stream remains visible during very wet conditions. The water ends up inside nearby Lost Creek Cave, one of Tennessee’s largest caves, with five separate entrances and seven miles of mapped passages. It’s pitch black inside, requiring headlamps and secondary light systems for safety, and is closed during winter months for purposes of bat hibernation. Also, rumor has it that somewhere deep within the cave, there is another similarly-sized waterfall!

If you enjoy the peace and quiet of nature in a remote location, this area fits the bill. During my first and second visits, I encountered one individual, and then a couple, respectively, while hiking. GPS coordinates of the parking area are N35 50.442, W85 21.660. No restrooms, no gift shop.

In 1994, the Walt Disney Corporation, so pleased with the area’s natural beauty, filmed several scenes from “The Jungle Book” at both the falls & cave entrance.

There are several areas worthy of exploring, each of which will be detailed to some extent, as follows. Stairs are provided leading visitors from the parking area to the falls and cave, though other trails are more rocky. Also, rocks around the water are covered with moss and can be very slippery, so proper footwear is important – exercise discretion.

Ice can pose a hazard for visitors during winter months. Case in point, clusters of huge icicles were positioned on cliff walls to the sides of Lost Creek Falls, as well as above the 30-foot opening to Lost Creek Cave. While I was there, I saw and heard several come crashing down as temperatures warmed a bit. Heads up! Also, many rocks near the waterfalls become coated with thin ice from mist in the air, and can be very slippery!

Photographs & descriptions of each area in chronological order:

Lost Creek Falls

The main attraction, Lost Creek Falls can be heard as soon as you step out of your car. As is common with many waterfalls found on the Cumberland Plateau, rocks have been eroded in a horseshoe shape with recessed areas underneath ledges. This particular topography also includes a few small caves. Also, the plunge pool is quite shallow – great for kids and/or dogs.

Side Waterfall

Located slightly uphill along a short trail to the right of Lost Creek Falls is a smaller waterfall – actually, a set of two. It’s also easy to cross the stream from left to right, which allows hikers access to the top of the falls. However, if conditions are dry so too is this stream.

Lost Creek Cave

This giant cave is located only 300 feet from, and in clear sight of, Lost Creek Falls. Glancing inside, it doesn’t take much distance for light to diminish into darkness. It’s closed for the winter, and spelunkers are required to register for a permit.

Upper Lost Creek Falls

A short trail from the parking area to the top of Lost Creek Falls provides hikers with an opportunity for more interesting views. You’ll see the leading edge of the falls, a stream above which flows as a series of small cascades over rock ledges, and a small cave – largely obscured by boulders – at the top, wherein a honeycomb of eroded rock channels spring fed water from the hillside. Unlike my prior visit, an increased flow of water prevented me from crossing the stream, though I was able – moving deliberatively with extreme caution – to scale icy surfaces in reaching the cave opening.

Rylander Cascades

Another area to enjoy is Rylander Cascades, a short 1/2 mile hike from Lost Creek Falls along a rocky trail. During my visit in late-August, this area was completely dry. So, plan on visiting sometime following rain. If you’re feeling ambitious, this trail also leads 4.5 miles to Virgin Falls – a strenuous hike.

Prints

Prints available – framed, canvas, poster, metal, wood, acrylic. Other items, also. Thanks!

Categories
Nature Photography

Little River Big Rapids

Enjoy this photograph of white water rapids along the Little River in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. See more in my gallery at Pixels.