Burgess Falls, July 3rd, 2015

Burgess Falls 7.3.15

Heavy rainfall for the past few days, particularly from storms last night, has the Falling Water River flowing pretty heavy. The hike out to the main waterfall at Burgess Falls State Park in Sparta, TN, was totally worth getting completely drenched by rain. I’ve never seen a more majestic sight than this river flowing with such great force! Positively beautiful and awe-inspiring!

I was surprised and a little heartbroken when I reached the overlook at the Middle Falls. The overlook, as well as the tree that stood there, are gone, slid away. :/

Missing Overlook to the Middle Falls #1

Missing Overlook to the Middle Falls #2 Missing Overlook to the Middle Falls #3

The Middle Falls Stream Falls Falling Water RiverMore Stream Falls Inexplicable Shoes The CascadesCaution Self-evident


Update 11/21/15: I’ve been meaning to update this post about Burgess Falls State Natural Area with information I received from a park ranger I saw out there back in September. He told me that they had to close the overlook viewing the main waterfall due to structural damage taken during this flood. The area has since been fenced off due to an accident out there during August. I’ll update this post again when/if I hear anything new about repairs, etc.

Flood Damage 1

Flood Damage 2 Flood Damage 3

Flood Damage 4 Flood Damage 5

Flood Damage 6

Update 11/22/15: Yesterday, when I updated this post, I popped over to Friends of Burgess Falls State Natural Area on Facebook to ask the questions, “Is it the weather/season or funding needed for repairs to be made? Also, if people wanted to make donations to help out in the case of funding who should they contact?

Today, I had a reply which I thought I would share here for anyone interested in helping out. From Lee Hapner, president of Friends of Burgess Falls State Natural Area:

Mainly it is how government slowly works. However, any help in funding is appreciated and the Friends of Burgess Falls do that through donations and fund raisers. Donations can be given at the Park office, or you may contact me via phone 931-260-3152. My name is Lee Hapner and I am the precisdent [sic] of the Friends Group. Thank you for your interest.


Edgar Evins State Park

Tennessee never ceases to amaze me with her beauty. Our visit to Edgar Evins State Park yesterday was a memorable and very enjoyable experience. David has gone fishing out there a few times, but it was my first visit to this park. This monument at the visitor’s center reads:

Edgar Evins State Park

Dedicated – August 2, 1975 by Governor Ray Blanton and Honorable B.R. Allison, Commissioner of Conservation, State of Tennessee

This rustic state park consisting of approximately 6,000 acres was built jointly by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the State Department of Conservation, named in memory of Edgar Evins, farmer, teacher, merchant, banker, businessman, conservationist, civic and political leader of Smithville and Dekalb County, Tennessee.

Here beauty and nature merge for enjoyment to renew and refresh the spirit

We’re generally late afternoon hikers; so by the time we got to the visitor center, the observation tower was already closed. Bummer. I would have loved to have seen the view from up there. We drove out to one of the boat docks,  first, to walk along the shoreline of Center Hill Lake. David pointed out little coves and peaks, telling me his fishing stories.

On the way back to the hiking trails, we stopped by Dunham Cemetery which is just a short hike up a hill off the main road. Most of the tombstones were either gone or broken and badly eroded. A marker placed by Tennessee State Parks reads:

This serene hillside, overlooking the Laurel Hill area directly to the East where he lived and farmed, was chosen as the final resting place for

1826 – 1878

Two of his ten children, whose names and ages are now known only to their Maker, died in 1890 and also rest here.

According to Tennessee State Parks’ website, “There are approximately 11 miles of trails at Edgar Evins from moderate to strenuous.” We hiked the Highland Rim Nature Trail, located at the Visitor Center. This 2 mile loop was a bit of a challenge because as I mentioned yesterday, it was overgrown in some areas and fallen trees crossed the path in others. In the photo below, David was inspecting this tree to see if we could make it through. It couldn’t have been down for very long because most of the leaves were still green. More or less, it was like climbing through a brush pile to get to the other side; but we managed and kept going.

At one point we saw a small creek to our left; but when the path crossed the creek bed in the above photo, there was no water. Eventually this trail made its way down to the lake where another short path opened up a bit for a beautiful view of the lake and Center Hill Dam.

The trek back up the hill was a lot clearer than the first half of the trail. There were so many ferns on the first half that David joked saying, “Watch out for Velociraptors!” It really did remind me of Jurassic Park in some areas. And there were so many mushrooms!

There was a crispness in the air yesterday that served as a reminder that autumn is just around the corner. I look forward to seeing the fall colors. With so many gorgeous parks to choose from in Tennessee, why not pack a picnic lunch and spend a day exploring with your family?

Edgar Evans State Park is located at: 1630 Edgar Evins State Park Road, Silver Point , TN 38582. For more information visit: Tennessee State Parks: Edgar Evins State Park or call 931-858-2446. Toll Free: 1-800-250-8619. Click on any of the images to view larger. View this set on Flickr by visiting: Edgar Evins State Park

Update August 15, 2012: I wanted to come back to this one and make a recommendation for anyone who hikes out at Edgar Evins State Park. Wear insect repellant! Apparently, the ticks are pretty bad out there because we brought a few hitchhikers back home with us.

Red Ribbon!

I am very pleased to report that I received the second place ribbon in the Pets category at the Putnam County Fair for my photo of Sasha with her cicada. I honestly didn’t expect to place in any of the categories that I entered because there were so many excellent photos, although, I did notice that the number of photos entered this year was considerably less compared to last year.

I was a bit disappointed to realize that only 5 out of the 6 photos that I had entered were up for judging. The photo of the emerging cicada was missing from the boards; and the thistle photo was placed in category 9 (Insects) instead of where I intended it to be, category 11 (Flowers, plants, trees). Ginger from the Cookeville Camera Club left a voicemail today telling me that they located the missing photo and “according to the judges it wouldn’t have made a difference in the placing.” Oh well, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, lol.

The experience was well worth my time, so I’m not complaining. And I am very grateful to have placed in one category. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to enter!

Here’s a few photos from my visit to the fair this past Saturday.

The Ring of Fire

Ferris Wheel

Carousel Horses                                                                             Rainbow Peppers

To see more photos from this set, please visit me on Flickr: Putnam County Fair (TN) 2011

2011 Brood XIX Cicada

Brood XIX Cicada

I’m quite a bit late in getting this post out. The past few weeks have been full of distractions, wearing my nerves into a frazzle. But better late than never, right?

Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows I have a serious obsession with bugs. This is a year I will always remember in middle Tennessee. I have never seen so many cicadas in my entire life! They’re everywhere. The spring emergence of the 13 year cicadas in Middle Tennessee, Brood XIX, has been a delight for me. This is the first year I have witnessed seeing this particular species of cicada. Also, it’s the first year I have gotten to watch one emerge from its exoskeleton. Imagine my excitement. Seriously, I’m like a little kid with this stuff – truly fascinated.

I’m more used to seeing the larger genus/species Tibicen davisi, commonly known as the Southern Dog Day Cicada. Mom always called them jarflies, not really sure why. Someone enlighten me on where that term came from, please, because I’ve actually heard several people refer to them that way in this area. From my understanding, these green and brown cicadas emerge annually during late summer to fall -versus- the periodical cicadas we are seeing right now that only emerge every 13 years during spring. By the time the 13 year cicadas die off, we should start seeing the Dog Day Cicadas.

Needless to say, the sheer numbers of these cicadas have caused quite a stir in Middle Tennessee. One day at the beginning of this month, I was running some errands around town. I walked from my bank over to the post office. In that short distance, I had 4 different cicadas land on me and one out of control, kamikaze cicada thwack me behind my knee. Last week, my boyfriend and I went to Center Hill Lake. Imagine my surprise when a cicada landed on my bikini clad side. Despite the startle, I still managed to take an awkward photo of the frisky little bugger.

Then, there was this little guy who had a run of bad luck during a storm. He managed to get flipped over on his back in a puddle of water right outside the computer room window. He was making quite a racket when I discovered him. Opening the window, I offered my finger as a lifeline which he happily accepted. However, my guess is that this cicada was less than happy about being offered to my cats for their amusement. Don’t worry, Sasha didn’t hurt him. She only patted him a few times before I rescued him once again to be released back outside.

For your amusement, I share this news article that the local newspaper ran online: Cops called on cicadas. It gave me a pretty good laugh. To view more of my photos taken of the cicadas over the past few weeks, please, visit my set on Flickr at 2011 Brood XIX Cicada.

City Lake Natural Area

The entrance to City Lake Natural Area is located approximately 3 tenths of a mile from East Spring Street (70N) on Bridgeway Drive in Cookeville, TN. I really scoured the web trying to find information about this park but came up fairly empty-handed. Cookeville Leisure Services has a small blurb about it on their website:

“This 35 acre City Lake Natural Area is located on Bridgeway Drive and is preserved in its natural state, with some improvements to help accessibility. The park is a favorite area with fishermen as they can catch catfish, bass and bream. Cookeville’s first water treatment facility was constructed here.”

However, a few other websites with even shorter descriptions state that the park has 40 acres. I may have to research this one a bit more at the local library when I have the time. I guess the mystery behind this quaint little park is what led to my decision to blog about it. What I do know is that this location has picnic tables, a small fishing pier, hiking trail, waterfall overlook, and boat launch ramp. Even though it is quite lovely, I kind of got that “lost and forgotten” feel from this park. It certainly has the appeal of peacefulness and would make for a great place to just get away for a couple of hours from the hustle and bustle of life.

The hiking trail is short and very mild.  The first half of the trail is paved up to what I can only assume is the old water treatment facility. There are no signs or historical markers on this small building; so to be honest, I’m not really sure what it is or why there is a large wooden platform around it.

From this point the trail is graveled. I would have said the trail would be good for jogging or biking given that it is paved half-way and graveled the other half, but the walnut shells that litter the path could be a potential hazard. The trail ends at the waterfall overlook. I would guesstimate the main waterfall to be about 12 feet high. All around there is water coming from several different directions. Looking at Google Earth and Google Maps, I couldn’t tell where exactly the water is coming from, another mystery. My best guess here would be that several small creeks must converge at this location.

Feel free to browse through my album on Flickr for more photos from my day at City Lake Natural Area, Cookeville, TN.