Sunset from the Summit

Mountain sunsets are gorgeous and clouds add a lot of drama to the sky

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If you haven’t been to Brasstown Bald, let me tell you a few things.  First, this is the highest point in the State of Georgia.  Second, you get great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from here.  Third, the climb up to the summit from the parking lot is pretty steep!

Once you get to the top though, it is worth the effort.  Joyce and I made the trip to do some night-time photography with the North Georgia Photography Club here.  We were hoping for beautiful clear skies away from the city lights.  It wasn’t looking like we would get the clear skies when sunset rolled around.  This made for a stunning sunset with all the color and light reflected off the clouds but made me think the stars would be hard to see.

There were a good number of photographers out on the observation platform to watch this gorgeous event.  We all marveled as the sky was painted in vibrant hues and even the Blue Ridge mountains were tinted in red, orange, and yellow.  It was an amazing sight.

Sunset from the Summit
Brasstown Bald Mountain
Towns and Union Counties, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
10mm at f/20 – 1/30 sec – ISO 400

#Georgia #BrasstownBald #BlueRidge #Appalachian #mountains #sunset #southern #photography #WithMyTamron #Nikon

Blue Hole Falls

A marvelous waterfall that I almost didn’t get to

This is a beautiful waterfall that Joyce and I visited yesterday.  We drove up into the mountains on a Saturday morning that fluctuated from beautiful sunshine to ugly-looking thunderclouds.  The rain opened up on us as we wound our way through the roads heading toward Blairsville where we were staying the night.  Things cleared up by the time we arrived so, we decided to go exploring.

I had done a bit of web-surfing to see what the points of interest were in the area surrounding Brasstown Bald which was our main destination for this outing.  Since the plan was to try for another Milky Way shoot from the mountain top, we had plenty of time to tour the vicinity before heading up there.  I came across a description of High Shoals Falls and thought that sounded like a great spot so, that’s where we headed.

I think there must be two falls in this area that are called High Shoals.  The first description I saw said the falls were in an area on Lake Chatuge and it was an easy 0.5 mile walk to the falls.  That was NOT the one we ended up seeing!!

We went on an off-roading expedition that nearly did my poor little Altima in and had Joyce ready to sit down and wait for a sherpa to come carry her back up the trail.  The road to get to the falls was a small off-shoot of a 55 MPH highway that is easy to miss.  If you are lucky enough to find it, be careful that you don’t break your car’s axles as you go up the trail.  After making a crossing of a little stream (no bridge – you have to drive across it) you then go up a steep, heavily rutted, pot-hole filled trail for about 2 miles.  Then you get to hike in about 1.5 miles to see the falls.

I believe this was a worth-while trip as the falls were great but it wasn’t easy.  Highly recommended for the view but be ready for a rough ride to get there.  Probably much better if you have a Jeep or 4×4 truck.  Maybe I will find the easy walk one next time!

Blue Hole Falls on High Shoals Creek
Indian Grave Gap Road
Hiawassee, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 10-24 Di II LD SP AF
13mm at f/13 – 1/30 sec – ISO 400

Brevard Barber Shop

An old-time barber shop in the Blue Ridge mountains

Last weekend, Joyce, Kathleen and I went up to DuPont State Forest in North Carolina to shoot waterfalls with the North Georgia Photo Club.  On the way back, we stopped in nearby Brevard, NC.  Brevard is one of those small-town spots where people go to walk the streets and stop in the shops while they are touring the Blue Ridge mountains.

There are actually several nods to the Andy Griffith show (Mayberry’s restaurant and O.P. Taylor’s toy store) so it’s not by accident that you might be reminded of that.  The barber’s pole is something that you can’t miss and it caught my attention right away.  Maybe Floyd the barber is at work inside?

West Main Barber Shop
Brevard, North Carolina, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
26mm @ f/10 – 1/1600 sec – ISO 400

Solar Wind

A sun-burst of recycled wheels welcomes pedestrians and cyclist as they navigate the Big Creek boardwalk

The final installation of the Art around Roswell exhibit is located in Big Creek Park and is entitled “Solar Wind”.  Looking like a silvery sun perched atop a copper pedestal or a fireworks bust being shot from a cannon, this sculpture is made primarily of bicycle wheels.

Art around Roswell_2016 07 17_0029_30_31_32_33_tonemapped

The Artist

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Patricia Vader currently resides in Martinez, California.  With a PhD in Mathematics, she started her career as an astronomer and spent 10 years in that profession before pursuing her artistic side.  She earned a Masters of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts, San Francisco and now spends her time producing large-scale outdoor sculpture with much of the work being constructed from recycled materials.

A focus on bicycles and wind is reflected in many of her works which is attributed to her memories of riding amongst the windmills of Holland in her childhood.  Though the components of Solar Wind are stationary, her works are often made to be kinetic so that they turn and sway with the blowing of the wind.

Art around Roswell_2016 07 17_0034_5_6_7_8_Balanced.jpgSolar Wind
by Patricia Vader
Recycled bicycle parts and other metals

Sculpture #10
Art around Roswell exhibit
Big Creek Park
Roswell, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro

Papillon

A stainless-steel wing shines in East Roswell Park

Reflections of clouds, sky and trees dance off of a polished stainless-steel butterfly wing in East Roswell Park.  Installation #9 in the Art around Roswell exhibit is an example of the abstract nature forms that typify the work of David Landis.

Beltline Walk_Jun 18 2016_0225
Rhino by David Landis

A Georgia native, and resident of Atlanta – he owns and operates Landis Sculpture Studio and has produced many works of public art.  I did not know this until I checked out his Facebook page but I saw and posted one of his works on my walk of the Atlanta Beltline a few weeks ago (see right).

If you get up close to the butterfly wing (the work is titled “Papillon” which is French for butterfly) you can actually see vein patterns on the surface.  Walking around the piece, it seems that from some angles the surrounding landscape is reflected and from others, the wing seems to blend into the background.  It really is something wonderful to view in person.  You should get out and see this!

Art around Roswell_2016 07 17_0054_5_6_8_7HDRPapillon
by David Landis
Stainless Steel

Sculpture #9
Art around Roswell exhibit
East Roswell Park
Roswell, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro

High Falls

A 100 ft cascading waterfall, this was my favorite one at DuPont.

The third stop on our DuPont Recreational State Forest waterfalls tour was High Falls.  This is probably the most impressive of the three with a single cascade that drops 100 feet.  Getting to this point was the bulk of my exercise for the day.  From the Hooker Falls parking area it is about a mile in all to get to the High Falls observation point.  The trail gets fairly steep as you climb past Triple Falls and temperatures were getting uncomfortably warm even though it was still before 10AM when we went up.

If you want to get to the base of these falls, you need to take the Riverbend trail which is just past Triple Falls.  There is no access to the base from the upper area where the observation point is.  As you can see from my picture, there are numerous people on the rocks below the falls.  I did not go down there because it would have taken a good while to backtrack but I’m sure it would be beautiful from that spot as well.

At the top of High Falls Trail, you can continue on to see the covered bridge which is visible at the top of High Falls.  There is also another waterfall – Bridal Veil falls, but we did not go that far.  I am thinking this would be a great spot to re-visit when the weather is cooler.  Maybe a nice idea for a fall color trip.

High Falls
DuPont State Recreational Forest
Cedar Mountain, North Carolina, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
Featured image: 44mm at f/9 – 1/100 sec – ISO 100

Triple Falls

Three for the price of one! Little River cascades down three steps at this point.

Continuing my story of our visit to DuPont State Forest in North Carolina with the North Georgia Photography Club

DuPont_2016 07 23_0046After visiting Hooker Falls we came back down the path toward the parking area and crossed the footbridge over the Little River to follow Triple Falls Trail.  A short walk along the river brings you to the falls.

Viewing Triple Falls

There is an overlook where you can get a view of the whole of the 3 falls as the water cascades down a 120 foot drop.  Even if you have never been here before, you may be familiar with the landscape of DuPont State Forest.  Triple Falls along with , Hooker, High and Bridal Veil falls were featured in the movies: Last of the Mohicans (1992) and The Hunger Games (2012).

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Triple falls from overlook

Just beyond the overlook, are stairs to descend to the base of the second falls where the water reaches a large flat, rocky plateau before taking the final plunge as it cuts through the Blue Ridge forest land.  The plateau allows close access to the falls and provides some nice ponds that reflect the white water as it crashes against the stone.

Triple Falls
DuPont State Recreational Forest
Cedar Mountain, North Carolina, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
Featured image: 26mm at f/11 – 1/10 sec – ISO 100