Sunday, December 19, 2010

Piney Falls hike

Oh boy, I am SO behind on my blogging! Although we have done some hikes lately, I just haven't posted them. Today we went to Spring City and hiked to Piney Falls. We were delighted that the Dept. of Conservation acted on my information about the off-road vehicle drivers that had cut trails through the woods. There were huge boulders and iron pipe gates placed across the trail entrances. So, I guess the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease! :) It was so nice to walk on a smooth trail that wasn't eroded with huge ruts. There wasn't any trash along the trail from redneck parties either!

The waterfall was partially frozen on the sides, it has been above freezing the past couple of days. We were unable to go very far down to the bank or behind the falls due to all the ice on the rocks. I took a pretty bad fall there last year and didn't want to repeat that! The ice at the bottom was very thick.

We saw some beautiful icicles on the rockwalls along the trail. Since the temperature was above 40 degrees and many areas were in the sun, we had to be careful to watch for icicles falling from the cliff above. I was excited to catch a drop that melted from one of them. One small branch had multiple icicles that looked like icy fingers! It reminded me of a creepy obituary I read once about the "Angel of Death slipping into mother's room and taking her away with her icy fingers"! Ewww! :-0

I had forgotten to take my starlight filter off my camera before the hike, so it made an interesting effect when I photographed this icicle in the sunlight.

Ice can form some fascinating patterns. I liked the designs in this piece. One moss and lichen-covered boulder had interesting patterns where the snow had partially melted then refroze into little clear pellets. When there aren't any wildflowers, birds or insects to photograph, I have to find something!