This is one of those images that might hit different people in different ways, and by that I mean, some might be puzzling over what they’re looking at, and some might know right away – with a distinct possibility that this is “all” and “no one.” Only in reversed order. While choosing the photo for this week’s Ancient Lore post, I noticed that a different crop made it more, ummmm, let’s settle for ‘enigmatic’ and leave it at that.
So if you’re paying far more attention than is warranted from anyone with a life, you know that we’ve reached the Mountains folder again, and since there are no mountains in Florida (and in fact, the highest elevation barely counts as a “hill” in most states,) we must be someplace else. This was, in fact, the first trip that prompted me to create a Mountains folder in the first place, and it’s still rather sparsely populated with images. We’re also not using the Sony F717, which had long since gone to its new owner, but the Canon Pro 90 instead, the first digital that I owned all by myself. I took a weekend to finally visit the mountains of North Carolina, in May of 2005 which puts it, oh, not quite fifteen years since I’d first moved into the state. And while this was the time I had to make the brief trip, it wasn’t quite properly timed, since the full spring bloom was yet a couple of weeks away and the landscapes still had bare trees in places, making for a faintly threadbare appearance – I had judged the trip by what was happening in central NC, knowing the mountains would be a little behind that in development, but they were farther behind than I thought. Still, I had my handy book, North Carolina Waterfalls by Kevin Adams, and a decent list of spots to check out, so I had other subjects to pursue.
Which, if you were one of the none people who were puzzled over the image above, now explains what you were looking at. This is, to the best of my recollection, Moore Cove Falls; I seemed to remember that it was harder to get to than the book (which I just referred back to) describes, but I’m probably conflating two together. This seems to match Adams’ illustration reasonably closely, anyway. I mean, not this image, but the wider one that you’re about to see. I went for this crop because of the faint details that were showing behind the veil of falling water, and wanted to see the effect if I omitted all other establishing details. Of course, since I already knew what I’d photographed, no such effect would have any impact on me.
Moore Cove Falls isn’t a high-volume cataract and isn’t especially tall, so I was playing around with different perspectives and liked this one the best – there’s a kind of anachronism between the blur of the falling water and the distinction of each individual stream and trickle, lending more of an impression of strands of cotton or webbing, and these lines are mimicked to a degree by the layers of rock behind them. I might have had a lot more options had I been there a few weeks later when the rhododendrons were in bloom, but timing such can be a lot harder than it seems. The temperatures and humidity in the mountains are widely variable, and even if, for instance, I had a source that told me that the flowers were in bloom in the populated regions of Brevard County, they might still be several days away from that point up at this waterfall. This is probably where some kind of app comes in handy, but back in those ancient times we could only rely on Googling a webpage before we left home. And Google back then didn’t even autocorrcet our search terms.