Photo of the Week - Crabtree Falls

First, I want to thank everyone for voting for the current giveaway, entitled "Crabtree Falls."  That really helps me to figure out what you like to see more of and also what you want to get as a giveaway piece. Normally, the Photo of the Week is the image with the most engagement over the last seven days, but in light of the giveaway, I thought I would provide a story I wrote about the making of this image.  I hope you enjoy it!

Untamed Journey

The familiar call of a Carolina wren resting in nearby tree mingles with the thud of my hiking boots striking the still wet dirt path. Although the sun rise is in progress, the ground is dimly lit, and I have to take care to miss the roots and stones along the path.  Each step I take moves me farther
down the trail, down the mountain, and closer to to my final destination. I take a few more steps and suddenly, there is a loud rustle to my right! Startled, I quickly stop and turn, my heart pounding, my mind wondering what could cause this.  Although there is a thin foggy mist around me, I can make out the silhouette of a gray fox. Smiling, I realize there is no danger from this creature. In a moment he scampers off into the darkness, and I am left to continue my journey.

After several smaller twists and turns I make my way slowly down the mountain and through a series of switchbacks. My mind begins to imagine what other animals are present here. I know from past experiences and research that there are squirrels, chipmunks, coyotes and of course the king of the eastern forests, the black bear. Perhaps they are watching me as I make my way to the base of the mountain, but more than likely they are just going
about their normal daily routine of waking up and beginning to gather food. As pleasant as these thoughts are, they are eventually disrupted by
a new sound; the calming and wonderful sound of a cascading creek.

The creek, little more than a simple distant sound of running water, is barely beginning to merging with the other sounds of the forest.  It forms an accent on the symphony unfolding before me.  Eventually, the path begins to level out, and I can see a clearing ahead.
Slowly, the sound of the creek intensifies to a loud roar as I break out of the thick forest canopy. There before me is a stunning site of raw
power and complete untamed beauty. The perfect crescendo in God’s symphony of nature.

Before me now is a seventy foot tall wall of water plunging into a dark pool, and eventually continuing its flow down the mountain! I feel a smile form, and I realize that I am alone. No other humans are here. It is just me, God, and the mighty power of his nature before me.  At this point nothing else matters to me but reflecting on this amazing site.  I am a photographer of nature. A spectator in a world that was created for me to enjoy and document. My goal is to show you the world as I see it. Not a world tainted by over production in the latest image editing software, but as it is, in its total raw form. My photography is a life long journey through God’s natural world and I am honored to share this passion with you.