Friday, November 3, 2006

I love this time of year.

I love this time of year. Really, it is the time when this wacky state really comes alive with color. And if you prefer to spend your time looking through the viewfinder of a camera, it can make for some fine and dandy times. The past two years I don't think I've really been able to go out and explore with a camera, so now that I'm not stuck in boring grad school classes and that I still owe lots of money on a new camera, I feel as if it is my duty to go out and spend my time taking pictures of stuff. Please, stay with me, so here are tons of pictures taken recently, posted here for your enjoyment:
This is a shot of a sunset I took from the new Big Dam Bridge here in Little Rock. I went home on my dinner break from work and noticed the sky looked neat, and would probably make for a nifty sunset. I ate a quick dinner and made my way to the bridge:
Sunset over the Arkansas River
I ended up spending so much time there that I took an extra-long dinner break, so I had to make up that time away from my all-so pressing and important job later. But the weirdest thing happened when at the bridge. I was taking pictures from the bridge, and really focusing on this one area that had really neat light. I thought it was neat how this area, part of the hydroelectric part of the dam, looked against the setting sun in the distance.
View from the Big Dam Bridge
After taking some pictures I walked to a different part of the bridge when a woman came up to me. She asked me why I was taking pictures of that particular part of the dam. I told her that I thought the light was neat. She said, "Oh ok, well I work with an anti-terrorism (I forgot the whole name of what she said) and I saw you taking pictures and walked away but got worried. What if something happened to the dam tomorrow? I thought I should go back and see what you were up too. I hope you're not offended."
Golly, why would someone be offended by being accused of being a terrorist? Actually, I am surprised that this is only the first time that I've been approached by someone while taking pictures and questioned about why I'm standing around with a camera. I never thought it would happen on the Big Dam Bridge, however. If officials are worried about people studying the dam in order to do something to it, then just why did they go and spend $12 million on a bridge that lets people go up and see it?
Oh well, if I get deported to Guantanamo, then everyone here will know why....
Well since nothing has happened since I can assume that I am safe. So a few days later I drove on over to Burns Park in North Little Rock. The colors weren't as nice as I hoped they'd be, but here are some more pictures:
Burns Park
And here is a view of the covered bridge in Burns Park:
Covered Bridge
Over the weekend I went to my cousin's wedding off in the small town of Charleston, Arkansas. The wedding was nice, but the reception was great (free beer). Since I work at a tv station I was volunteered to run the camcorder from the church balcony. This was my view:
The View From The Top
On Sunday, I drove back home but decided to take the "scenic route" and hit some places nearby that would hopefully have some good fall colors. Charleston isn't that far from White Rock Mountain, in the Ozark National Forest. The mountain is amazing, with some great views. I drove up there, probably horribly damaging my car on the dirt road. The sun was out so the light was harsh and not really favorable for photography.
View from White Rock Mountain
White Rock Mountain, while a very pretty place, is also known for the number of people who die by falling off the bluffs. I was disappointed (as morbid as this sounds) to not see the sign that says "Watch your children" and then saying how many people had fallen to their deaths at the mountain. There was actually a large crowd of people there that afternoon, but oddly enough, very few bothered to walk beyond the main lookout to explore the bluff line. There is an awesome trail that follows the bluff along the mountain, and I walked along part of it. While the light kinda sucked, it was good in some shots of leaves taken at one tree that I stopped to take pictures at:
White Rock

Looking up at the trees

Yellow leaves, blue sky, White Rock

Tree atop White Rock Mountain

This was taken at a lake right at the foot of White Rock Mountain:
Shores Lake I had a bit of a plan worked out. After going to White Rock I would try to make it to a waterfall that would somewhat be on the way home. North of Clarksville there is a small waterfall that is located right next to the road. I used to go up there while in college but hadn't been there in a few years. I had seen other pictures taken recently with waterfalls running, so I decided to extend my trip and try to make it to Haw Creek Falls before it got dark. I managed to make it after the sun had set and while there was still enough light to see the falls.
Haw Creek Falls

Haw Creek Falls

Haw Creek Falls

Haw Creek Falls

This shot was composed trying to show the sun hitting the hillside in the background:
Haw Creek Falls

Haw Creek Falls

And this little waterfall was right off the small ledge that creates Haw Creek Falls:
Haw Creek Falls

On Tuesday, I decided to head over to Pinnacle Mountain to see how things were going over there. It was almost sad. A lot of trees there were dropping their leaves, so it seems as if the great fall color here isn't going to last much longer. This shot was taken along the Kingfisher Trail at Pinnacle:

Along the Kingfisher Trail

 In fact, so many leaves were falling that the trail was completely covered by leaves at many places. Wish the color would stick around a bit longer.
The Kingfisher Trail

Kingfisher Trail
I like the Kingfisher Trail at Pinnacle. For one reason, its level - and easy to hike. Another reason is that it follows a nice river that is flanked by several huge cypress trees. It is a great place to stop and explore for awhile:
Little Maumelle River
Cypress trees and knees

Trees in and out of the water...
After hiking the trail, there is also a nice view of the river at a small boat launch not very far away. While walking over there, I took this shot of Pinnacle. I think its neat because the tree trunks make it look the mountain is being supported by stilts:
Pinnacle Mountain
Walking to the area around the river, there were a few good places to explore. I was a bit distressed to look at the clock and discover that it was just a few minutes away from when I needed to be at work. Crap. It would have been a much better day if I went up and climbed Pinnacle instead of wasting many hours at work. Oh well. Can't wait until next weekend.
Little Maumelle River

Cypress Knee

Little Maumelle River

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