Panther Creek Falls · Gifford Pinchot National Forest · Carson · Washington · USA
The rather harrowing cliff-side scramble down from the viewing platform aside, standing before Panther Creek Falls' 102-foot main facade is a wonderfully calming and contemplative experience. I've long since eschewed the exercise of trying to capture the falls in its entirety since so many others before me have done it and done it well. Instead, I enjoy letting my eyes and mind wander about, meditatively studying the complex interplay of every intricate detail and how the seemingly disparate parts come together to form a mellifluous whole. And not unlike a beautifully faceted symphony, some haunting melody contained therein invariably manages to transcend the background harmonies and really move the soul. Sometimes it's the heart-thumping kick of the bass drum or the stirring roll crescendo of the tympani; other times it's the brassy blast of the trombone or the airy, lilting notes of the piccolo or flute. But this being Panther Creek Falls, it was only natural that the string section would win full command of my undivided attention, and, in the process, entrain the pace of life down to something I find much more, well...livable.