Oct. 24, 2004

This week the wild and beautiful Ozark light was flying everywhere, and I was getting smacked left and right with more of it every which way I turned. Good thing I happened to be holding a camera to catch a little bit of the stuff every now and then.

Saturday I had a notion to walk up the Buffalo River Trail from Steele Creek to get to the overlook across from Big Bluff, but we discovered when we arrived at the trailhead that the hills in that area were already pretty much bare of foliage, and we and decided to skip that. So instead we noodled around on the river next to the campground for a little, and the picture at the top of this page is of the river just above the old river trail ford.

Plan B was to check out the falls at Broadwater Hollow, but judging by the water level I was seeing in the area, there wouldn't be much to check out. So after a quick stop at the Ponca Bridge, where the photo above was taken, we went with Planc C and scooted on over to the same creek we visited last week, but as you can see in the following several pictures, one week made all the difference. The woods along the creek were still pervasively green then, but this time they were at peak color, and Junie and I had ourselves a fine little stroll through an autumn wonderland. Fortunately we were blessed with mostly cloudy skies until about two in the afternoon, when the sun broke through and forced us to give up our efforts for the day.
Six-thirty the next morning found us strolling in near darkness along an old jeep road next to Richland Creek on our way to the Darby turn, which is just a ten or fifteen minute walk downstream from the bridge at the campground. It was an hour or so before dawn, and light was sitting on top of the hills across the creek to the east, and as we walked along the forest slipped from shades of gray into muted yellow and orange.

The plan was to have a quick look around and maybe take a couple of snaps before hustling elsewhere, but the colors there, though perhaps on the whole a little past peak, were still quite nice. We ended up staying in that area and taking advantage of that good light until it was flooded with sunlight around 9:30 as the sun topped the hill to the east. The photos below are from that morning.