As I mentioned in my last post, I have a thing for water falls. High Falls state park is about 1.5 hours south of Snellville and I thought with Ruth out of town, this would be a great time to head down there.
Because waterfalls are very difficult to shoot in the bright daylight, I wanted to shoot these fall just as the sun broke the horizon and illuminated them. With that in mind, a 4am wake up call was in order. This was to allow me a chance to feed the dogs and get breakfast myself and still be down there for the 6:30 sunrise.
Arriving at the park, I was surprised that I could not get in. All of the entrances were barricaded (as it turns out, the park does not open until 8am). Not to be deterred, I found a convenience store that was close and parked in their lot. Strapping my backpack on and carrying my tripod, I began the mile descent into the valley.
Arriving at the bottom, I was able to walk into the creek bed and avoid most of the moss strewn rock and ensure I had good footing.
Unfortunately, I was not paying attention as I was heading for this shot and stepped on a wet spot causing my left foot to slide. Deciding this was not a good thing, I looked for solid footing for my right foot rather immediately and also stepped on a wet spot. It must have been quite the sight seeing a rather large man ice skating down the falls. Fortunately, I was able to keep my balance and recover enough for the shot. Unfortunately, I was in a difficult place to get out of. Setting my dignity aside, I crawled out hands over feet to get back to dry land!
The Heron of Doom!
This fine fellow took a few years off of my life this morning. It was just at the time of pre-dawn and the entire world was still in black and white. I was bent over my tripod peering through the view finder when I hear a “WHAAP – WHAAP” behind me. Standing up and starting to turn around, this guy zooms about a foot over my head and then veered into this tree.
How I avoided messing my pants, I am not sure. After several minutes of staring at one another, he decided that I was not anything to worry about and then flew into a pool to do his morning fishing. Through out the morning, he would fly over me and then into this tree to watch what I was doing. It was quite a bit of fun and I feel privileged to have spent the morning with such a fine fellow.
Integrity when no one is watching.
Another side story on this morning. I have mentioned that I parked in a convenience stores lot this morning as I was taking my photos because the park was ‘closed’. As I was leaving, I stopped into the store to buy a diet coke and I offered the cashier $5 for parking in their lot. The owner of the store refused this, but told me that she greatly appreciated the fact that I had offered it. After spending a few minutes chatting with her and the other patrons of the store, I headed across the street to the park office. With this being the 4th of July, there were a number of people there renting camping spots for the weekend. After about 20 minutes, my time finally came. I told the women behind the counter that I needed a day pass for the park. She panicked looking for this pass. When I told her not to worry that I was leaving and just wanted to pay for my time there, she gave me a really strange look. She then said that in the 8 years she had worked there that this had never happened. I explained that I had arrived at the park before it had opened, used it’s facilities and wanted to be sure that I had paid.
She accepted my money with dis-belief and as I was leaving I could over hear her talking with her coworkers and her boss about the incident.
All this tells me is that when a man lives up to his personal integrity, the world notices!