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.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

On Top

I was back out at Burgess Falls today hiking and had in mind this week’s photo challenge. My photo really does not do a 130 foot drop justice. Luckily, there were a couple of tiny people down at the bottom to put it into perspective. My fear of heights is lessening; and this is the closest I think I’ve ever gotten to the edge of the gorge. It was an easy climb both down and back up, as the rocks weren’t nearly as slippery as they were 3 weeks ago.

From The Top

There was a Great Blue Heron at the waterfall today. As I sat waiting patiently to see if he, not sure if it was male or female, but I’ll use the male pronoun for ease of writing, would come closer, I balanced a few stones. Unfortunately, he never came close enough for a good photo, waiting just outside the scope of my camera’s lens.

While I Wait...

 Sandhill Crane

The one above is NOT a great photo; but the best I got. He was very leery of me and waited until I climbed all the way back up to the top before returning not even 20 feet away from where I balanced my stones. I had to laugh because I couldn’t blame him for wanting to be left alone. Heck, that’s why I was out there; but I wouldn’t have minded his company.

Update: I forgot to add this short video clip of Burgess Falls with an interrupting bumblebee.

And Correction Update: It’s not a Sandhill Crane, but a Great Blue Heron. I have no idea how I missed that because I know the difference; but thank you, Mary, for pointing it out to me! I even mis-labeled it on Flickr. In my defense, I have been very tired and distracted lately; so please, forgive my mistake. 🙂

Ladybug View of Burgess Falls

Ladybug View

Ladybug View , a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

I can’t get over how blue the sky is in these photos from Tuesday. It was such a beautiful day! I got as close to the waterfall as I could to take this one, at great risk to my camera, I might add. Even though I worried that the dampness might be too much for it to handle, I took the risk; and everything turned out okay. I noticed a couple of ladybugs on the rocks next to me right after snapping the first one. The photo below was the best one I got. It was a little hard to see what I was getting. I loved this one, though. The water droplets give you an idea of the level of mist we endured; but that mist was cool and refreshing after the climb down.

Mist Covered Ladybug

Mist Covered Ladybug, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Burgess Falls 4.1.14

Burgess Falls 4.1.14, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Stone Balancing

April 1, 2014 Stone Balancing

April 1, 2014 Stone Balancing, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

When I saw Michael Grab‘s fantastic skill at stone balancing, my curiosity was piqued. How does he do that?! His work and the balancing skills of others like him inspired me to give it a try. The above photo is my latest attempt, taken yesterday at Burgess Falls. I’m no Michael Grab, but I can understand the allure of practicing such an art form. It’s like a form of meditation. I was surprised at how easily these 7 rocks fit together once I calmed my hands and took a few deep breaths.

In an article I read titled, The Secret Behind How This Guy Balances Rocks Is Very Unusual. Can You Guess It?, Grab explained:

“The most fundamental element of balancing in a physical sense is finding some kind of ‘tripod’ for the rock to stand on. Every rock is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations that can act as a tripod for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks. By paying close attention to the feeling of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest clicks as the notches of the rocks in contact are moving over one another. In the finer point balances, these clicks can be felt on a scale smaller than millimeters. Some point balances will give the illusion of weightlessness as the rocks look to be barely touching. Parallel to the physical element of finding tripods, the most fundamental non-physical element is harder to explain through words. In a nutshell, I am referring to meditation, or finding a zero point or silence within yourself. Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise.”

I had two other attempts at stone balancing that I never got around to sharing, so I thought I would include them here as well. The first is from October 1, 2013. I think that was 5 stones, not counting the one it’s sitting on.

 October 1, 2013 Stone Balancing

October 1, 2013 Stone Balancing, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

And these next two are from February 24, 2014. The first was a measly 3 stones, but an attempt, nonetheless. The second try was a total of 5 small stones. I knew I wasn’t satisfied with the first attempt, so I decided to try again right before I left the park that day. This was closer to the trail’s beginning at the cascades. Both of these were poorly photographed. However, in my defense, it was really cold that day, lol.

February 24, 2014 Stone Balancing #1

February 24, 2014 Stone Balancing #1, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

February 24, 2014 Stone Balancing #2

February 24, 2014 Stone Balancing #2, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

I look forward to trying more of these in the future. I’ll agree that it is a meditative process; and it’s certainly soothing to my anxious mind, especially with the heavenly sounds of nature – birds singing, water flowing, grasses rustling – in the background. I’m left wondering, do you knock them down when you’re done? Hmm, I think that would somehow shatter the peacefulness. I chose to leave these as they were, allow nature to take her course. Hopefully, others might find it an inspiration to pause and give it a try, as Michael Grab inspired me to do.

Celebrating the Autumn Equinox

Cummins Falls

I decided to take a quick walk today at Cummins Falls to celebrate the Autumn Equinox. This past week has finally began feeling like autumn. Today was absolutely beautiful weather for a hike. After stopping by the overlook, I decided to head upstream to the top of the falls rather than make the long trek to the bottom.

A Well Camouflaged Toad

This little guy was lucky I didn’t step on him (or her, not sure which). As I walked down the path to the water, I noticed several of these small toads hopping about.

American Rubyspot #3

These male American Rubyspot damselflies were all over the place. This one was patient and fearless, allowing me several photos.

Animal Bone? #3

I spotted this bit of bone under a rock. It was bigger than my fist! Maybe, a vertebrae? I’m not very good at anatomy, lol.

Upstream & Precarious

It’s so peaceful out there. I could spend an entire day just listening to that waterfall and exploring the area.

Close to the Edge

I’m still battling my fear of heights, but I managed to get close enough to the edge to get these two photos.

Above the Falls

Tranquility Sits by a Log & Tiny Flower

It was a gorgeous day, and I’m thankful for the respite. Thanks for stopping by!

Day 28 City Lake Waterfall

Day 28 City Lake Waterfall by pixygiggles
Day 28 City Lake Waterfall, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I haven’t been back out here since summer. The waterfall was so beautiful today, running strong and clear. It’s a short hike out to this waterfall which is why David and I chose it because the temperature was only 45° when we left the house this afternoon. The fresh, crisp air was refreshing and very much-needed.

It was a bit disappointing to see that there is so much graffiti out at City Lake, really crude stuff along with the usual so and so loves somebody else. The type of childish, immature tagging that one would expect bored teenagers to be doing. It really serves no purpose other than making the usual beautiful scenery, quite ugly. That is the main reason I had not been back out there for so long.

We walked up an appetite and finished our evening at Gyro Dude for some Mediterranean food. That Baklava will have to wait until later because I’m still stuffed. Great food, though.