Maybe Sweet November
Lower South Falls · Lower Silver Creek · Silver Creek State Park · Silverton · Oregon · USA
I'm having high school flashbacks...
Someday soon, I know we'll come together
Even though our feelings change as seasons do
But maybe sweet November will tell us the story
That will bring us back the love that we both knew...
Less than a mile downstream from its better-known 177-foot big sibling South Falls, Lower South Falls drops a more modest but no less graceful 93 feet into the waiting waters below. As with South Falls and two others along the aptly named Trail of Ten Falls, the path leads behind its usually broad curtain. The low October flow captured here belies its power in full rainy-season flood, but it lent a nice lacy complement to the golden foliage adorning this broad bigleaf maple that has stood the test of decades beside it. I was privileged enough on this day to be hiking Oregon's largest state park at a leisurely pace with talented Phoenix, Arizona-based photographer (and great guy) Paul Dekort, who considerately left me to a creekside scene that distracted me for the better part of 20 minutes. When I eventually caught up with him, I found him camped out just to the right from this vantage point below the stately maple, and when I spied the sun peering through the trees, I knew his photographic instincts had served him well.
To improve my odds of avoiding comp-stomping him, I set my tripod low, sat down on a nearby rock, and waited a bit for the sun to assume an ideal position. High clouds attenuated the sunburst effect a bit, but the forgiving winds calmed enough to allow a 1-second exposure for the foliage (5 seconds for the water). We eventually packed up, eyed our mobile phone clocks, and moved on.
Eight more waterfalls to go...