Saturday, 15 September 2018 17:55

Through a Glass Just Looking

As it slides off the Pisgah Ridge, flowing thinly past its namesake Looking Glass Rock, the small creek takes on feeders from its watershed until it joins the Davidson River nearly as fulsome as the parent stream. Half-a-mile, or so, upstream from the confluence, Looking Glass Creek pours over an exposed band of Whiteside granite, an interesting composition of orthoclase and plagioclase feldspar, quartz, muscovite, and biotite that is extensive across this part of western North Carolina. It is old rock, dating to 440 million years before the present. Spreading out over the face of the band, the creek plunges 60' to a wide pool at its base before continuing downstream to its rendezvous, past a garden of wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) one of summer's last bloomers.

A focal length of 34mm, just inside of wide-angleland, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. I was far enough from the foreground flowers that I was able to use an aperture of f/11 and careful focusing for sharpness throughout; and that with an ISO of 200 allowed for a shutter speed of 0.8 second, fast enough with patience to stop the slight motion in the spindly composites.

I was the first person to arrive at the falls on this particular morning, but the crowd began to gather quickly. The solitude was fun while it lasted.

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More in this category: « Cloud Dance


  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 22 September 2018 09:43 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. Thank you all for joining me for this conversation. I very much appreciate all of the thoughtful observations and comments. Looking Glass Falls has become such an iconic attraction in Pisgah National Forest that the window opening for being there alone and in interesting light is shrinking steadily. It seems like a good argument for the expanded preservation of wilderness areas in other locations. There is very little "new" land being created these days.
    Hi John. Thanks very much for joining us; it's good to hear from you. We seem to be running out of new ways to "present" this beautiful place, but as long as it's there, I'll keep looking. Thanks for your kind words.
    Hello Donald. I was particularly delighted to share this place with you, and I appreciate your kind observation. The brunt of Florence was turned northward by the Blue Ridge Escarpment to our east, so Bonnie and I, and Asheville, were spared a direct confrontation. I hope you are looking forward to a wonderful autumn season on the lake, or in the desert.
    Hi Bob; it's good to have you join us. I hope you are finding lots to keep you busy. I think about you every time I pull out my old copy of Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers that is always within arm's reach. I hope you are continuing to add to it. Thanks for your thoughtful words.
    Hey Micki. It's great to hear from you. I hope all is well with you and Grateful Steps. It's good to learn about your successful surgery and the positive difference it has made in the quality of your experience of our beautiful world. What a joy to anticipate to coming of fall color! Thank you for pointing out the "star" for us. It's interesting how water so often does that as it spreads out at the base of a plunge.
    Hi Michelle. It's always good to hear from you. I hope all is well in Gainesville. Your choice of "layer" as a descriptive is interesting, for I took it to refer to both depth and contrast; depth in terms of foreground to background and contrast in terms of solid versus flowing and clarity versus misty. We have so many ways to enjoy a visual experience and I appreciate your reminding us of some of them.
    Hey Nancy T. Thank you for all of those thoughtful words. As I mentioned earlier, the worst of the storm turned northward to our east, so we were spared the worst of it and received little wind and not much more rain. Folks to the east and southeast fared much worse, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. I hope to share this place with you one of these days. Walk in Beauty.
    Thank you, again, Everyone for joining me for this conversation. As we go forward into autumn, I am grateful for the community of shared interest we have built around the beauty of the natural world.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Thursday, 20 September 2018 10:43 posted by Nancy Tripp

    This is very "dreamy". There must be angels singing. The way you composed it, it seems we are standing very close to heaven. I pray you guys and loved ones survived the wrath of Florence. On the bright side, there must be unique water images to be captured.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment Link Michelle Jensen Wednesday, 19 September 2018 08:09 posted by Michelle Jensen

    Don, What an exquisite view. So many layers with clarity and misty, solid and flowing. Love it. The quote was especially lovely.

  • Comment Link Micki  Cabaniss Sunday, 16 September 2018 18:03 posted by Micki Cabaniss

    Glorious. I love the star at the foot of the falls. I just had cataracts removed and the world is now blue and white instead of sepia and brown. Just in time to enjoy the blue and white of your photo. Micki

  • Comment Link Boib Hutson Sunday, 16 September 2018 13:05 posted by Boib Hutson

    Very peaceful.

  • Comment Link Donald Newsom Sunday, 16 September 2018 11:26 posted by Donald Newsom

    I'm inhaling deeply again as I behold this scene. It brings back fond memories of just a few weeks ago. I love the evenly balanced contrast of colors and textures among the foliage, the water, and the granite. Wishing you well as you deal with the aftermath of Florence.

  • Comment Link John D. Roach Sunday, 16 September 2018 08:24 posted by John D. Roach

    Nicely done and presented.

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