Four For February Forth

Heron -sm

On the way to our first waterfall, as we passed near the Davidson river, I was on the lookout for the eagle that had been spotted near there. I saw something large and hubby turned around and went back. I still couldn’t tell what it was until it turned its head revealing it was a heron.

First up was Secret Falls in Sapphire/Highlands/Cashiers – heck over that way somewhere. Don’t judge me. I wasn’t driving and hubby had it under control. It was blazed pretty well and even though we had to park at the closed gate and walk and an extra half mile along a road. At the start of the trailhead, there was a sign and wooden steps along the path. There were a few water crossings but even my uncoordinated self didn’t have a problem. I saw a fresh animal print but not sure what it may have been. It was close to the water but not huge. It is a really pretty waterfall and looks like if you went downstream you’d see more falls or cascades. It looks like I could’ve gone right out on the sand and rock to shoot directly on but I didn’t dress for that.  Even though I shot in RAW, I just couldn’t get the color right. Since it didn’t add anything to the photo I made it B&W.

Secret Falls 02-04-2019 13.55.29-sm  Secret Falls 02-04-2019 13.54.22-sm-2

At Walkingstick Falls I hoped out of the car while hubby stopped in the road. That was the only choice as it’s on private property. I imagine this is a nice waterfall IF you could get in to see it.

Walkingstick Falls 02-04-2019 14.54-sm

Pothole Falls had SO MUCH more water coming over it than in the photo in Adams book, and a tree down, and new rock steps instead of a bank scramble. That is, unless we went down in the wrong place. I definitely want to go back to this one again and shoot a little farther left off the bridge when there isn’t so much water. I have a tree or bridge shadow across my photo too that bugs me some.

It is a pretty view right from the bridge, especially if you stick your head thru and look down (see the metal from the bridge at the bottom).

Pothole Falls 02-04-2019 15.12-sm

It’s completely different below. We had a few rocks left that were not submerged to walk on, to go up along the water after we went to the water’s edge but they were wet and water was running on both sides of where we stood. If you look close on the one video I’m filming on both sides of the rock where I’m standing and you can see hubby’s legs right before the camera hits the main water flow. I left my tripod on the first big rock right at the base where we came down. Up under the bridge, the rushing water was much louder.

Pothole Falls 02-04-2019 15.21-3-sm

Back up top again, I took the little trail down to the top of the falls. It was a short walk and neat to see, but you could see more from the other two places. I don’t share other photographers pictures without there permission but this is a photo by Kevin Adams in his third edition book. I’m amazed at how much more water there is. (Kevin if you read this and you are not okay with it – let me know and I’ll delete this part of my post).

Kevin Addams photo on the left Mine on the right of Pothole.jpg

There were lots of trees down everywhere we went.  On the way to Pothole and Scotsman Falls, it looked like there had been fires at some point. That is the second or third place we’ve noticed burnt trees recently.  It’s also again a full day of waterfalling that we had all the waterfalls to ourselves. I’m surprised because it was in surprisingly spring-like weather for February. The BBQ place we like had a sign up that it was closed. I hope it’s just for the season.

Scotsman Falls, or Upper Scotsman Fall kicked my butt. I still don’t know which one we really saw. Adams book (with a much, much better photo and shoot location) said there wasn’t really a trail but enough people walk to it that it was not complete bushwhack. Well, LOTS of trees had come down along the narrow route. Some dead trees were hanging above us in the rhododendron, some across the trail had narrow spots we could crawl through.  If we had a chainsaw or wanted to really bushwhack off the trail we probably could have gotten closer. We stopped at a hard right blocked by tree route when the falls were in front of us. Back at the car I realized we were so close to a much better view. One fallen tree the space to fit thru was pretty tight and 5 days later my shoulder has finally stopped aching, but I still have knots on my legs and bruises from crawling through the trees. On the way back up to the road, I got the dry heaves from being out of breath and overstraining. I was also dressed to warm in jeans and long sleeve t-shirt for the warm spell. I need to add “Can’t-Do-Up,” to my list of hiking names. I saw hubby packing me a ginger ale and at the time I was thinking that I only want water. When he offered to go ahead and get it and bring it back I was very grateful. He knows me and my limits better than I know them myself.

I keep the Adams book in the car. I try to remember to check his websites for updates before we go. I take photos of the trail directions with my phone or make paper copies so I only have to look at it without carrying the entire book. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to add the coordinates to the free Gaia app or Google maps. Nothing like going so far but not quite far enough. In my defense for Scotsman Falls. I didn’t know we were doing that one, but when hubby offered since we were over that way, you know I wouldn’t turn that down. I should’ve read more before we started!

On the way back home, the telephone pole that had the large heron, had two. The one the size we saw that morning, and a smaller one but even though it would’ve made a great silhouette photo, I didn’t ask to stop.

I videoed 2 of the 4. All my video and most of my shots, except a few at Pothole Falls were handheld so I couldn’t do super long exposures for silky water in the middle of the day.

This is going to be another week that I will have a hard time picking just one photo for #6 of the 52 week project.  We did the waterfalls. Hubby moved an oak tree for me he didn’t want to, just because he loves me. We had a beautiful pink sky sunset. I was invited back to Biltmore House where I captured a perfectly timed horse and rider passing me, a nice big hawk, and a geese or is goose? fight. I also tried to shoot near the Asheville airport for my “night lights” theme at the camera club. It did not go like I’d envisioned, so I’ll just try again sometime. There were two nice guys at the same spot who told me about an app to track flights. It’s cool but I’m kinda surprised this day and age you can have an app like that. Only a few planes came in during the time we sat and waited and I didn’t do a good job of capturing either. Plus a billboard had lights come on that messed up my idea of road lights at the bottom and plane light trails at the top.  I may share some of those a later date.

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