Hi everyone and welcome to today’s post. For the time being I am going to continue to bring you more of the splendor of my “backyard”. In January I will be heading west to shoot in Death Valley with my buddies Alec Johnson and Travis Bechtel which promises to be a non-stop photographic extravaganza. The three amigos, laden with cameras, and bent on destroying our rental vehicle over miles and miles of beautiful desert landscape, promises to be great fun. But until then I am traversing into the West Virginia Highlands to explore the mountains, bogs, and rivers. Oh, and there are quite a few waterfalls which I am discovering for the first time. For many years I have concentrated on the western landscape to the near exclusion of the east coast. And though I do love the red rock country of the Grand Circle I have found a new love in the waterfall. And I am discovering that West Virginia has a whole lot of them.
Today’s image is Elakala Waterfall No. 2 located on Shay’s Run, which drains into the Blackwater River. There are four waterfalls on Shays Run which will give you some idea of the drop the river makes as it feeds into the Blackwater Canyon. Four waterfalls along a stream that runs through lush spruce forest and steep hillsides covered in rhododendrons and mountain laurel. Four waterfalls that cascade over moss and lichen covered boulders the size of small cars. Last week I made a foray to Shay’s Run to shoot the falls. I spent the day shooting Elakala No. 1 and No. 2. I did not have time to explore the other two waterfalls as they require quite a bit of effort to visit. There are no trails and the climb down can be treacherous. It is on my to do list and I promise to report back on this at some point. But in the meantime please enjoy No. 2. Simply a stunning waterfall. On the day I shot this image there was quite a bit of water flow and the sound was thunderous. I think this is one of the aspects that attracts me. Waterfalls delight the senses on many level. You can here their song played out as the water pours over the lip and spreads out over the boulders and pools below. As you move closer to the action the falls literally pulse with vibrations you can feel through the rocks at your feet. You can smell the deep woodland aroma; the pungent odors of lichen and moss bathed in the tannin rich waters. The wetness, lush growth, and cool dark canopies of spruce stand in stark contrast to the deserts I spend time exploring. Here on Shay’s Run I felt I was in a beautiful garden. Walls of massive, jumbled rocks seemed painted by an artist hand in rich hues of magentas, blues, greens, and oranges. Thick carpets of vibrant green moss lay between blue-grey boulders covered in lichen. Every color in nature was present and accounted for. And it was all for me. Not another soul joined me on this day. I think I will be spending more time at home this year. I have been gone far too long and have a little catching up to do.
Technical Details: This image was shot with a Nikon D3x and a Nikkor 17-35mm lens at 24mm. The image was exposed at ISO 100 at f11 for 2.0 seconds. To allow a longer shutter speed and to remove specular highlights I used a Heliopan Warming Circular Polarizer.
Thanks for stopping by today.