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A Tale of two creeks Richland and Falling Water–02_21_19 Featured Arkansas Photography

Fall scene featuring Richland and Falling Water Creek at their confluence.

A tale of two Creeks, Falling Water and Richland Creeks, Newton County Arkansas taken November 2018. 

Taken with a Nikon D850 and 24-70 lens.  Image capture in 3 horizontal images @ 24mm.  I used both a CL-PL and ND filter to slow the exposure for the water.

If I had to pick a favorite spot in Arkansas, it would have to be Richland Creek.  Most defiant a love/hate relationship as Richland alone has cost me more in camera gear than any other location I like to photograph.  Just this fall I lost both a Nikon D850 and 24-70 lens upstream from where this shot was taken.  Totally my fault and lucky for me, the creek was much lower so I was able to recover the gear and Nikon USA was able to repair it at a reasonable cost.  But that’s another story. 

Richland Creek is one of the fascinating creeks in Arkansas.  At medium to high water levels it’s a great kayaking stream.  The creek is lined with hardwoods most are 2nd generation growth as the creek was logged back in both the great depression and again in the 60’s-70’s.  Most of the old growth trees are long gone but if you hike far enough upstream where the mules and loggers never reached you can still find some huge white oaks.

The creek also winds through some of the most remote parts of Arkansas, that are still remaining.  Most of the watershed is now a wilderness area.  There is a primitive hiking trail that works it’s way up the left side of the creek (left side facing upstream).  This trail will lead all the way to Twin Falls and Richland Falls, well worth the trip.

For most the season, Richland hold water, but in the fall it’s very rare to find a good flow like the one shown in this image.  Instead the creek is usually barely covering the rocks.  The fall colors are getting tricky to catch also.  In the past the peak display tended to be around the middle of October now the peak seems to be more in the first week of November.  But the display is now hard to catch in full.  Notice in this shot most of the larger trees on the left have dropped their leaves, but the willows and smaller hardwoods lining the creek are still in full color.  However upstream many of the larger trees are still hold leaves.  So you just have to go and see what you have.

To take this shot, I had to wade out into the creek to mid thigh deep.  I found a rock that allowed me to place my tripod and camera safely above the creek.  Still after the disaster I had just 1 week prior, I was a bit shaky on working in the creek.   Still it was just too much not to get out and risk the shot.  There was little to no wind and just as I arrived the deeply overcast sky started to breakup and gave me some nice mixed light.

Due to the high water levels, I was able to catch Falling Water Creek on the left of the shot.  Falling Water Creek runs into Richland at the Richland Campground.  Falling water breaks into several channels near the it’s mouth with Richland and this one is the smallest.  It hardly ever flows unless Richland is running at a high level.  So I was grateful to catch both creeks in the same shot with some of the most amazing fall color I have seen on the creek.


Written by Paul Caldwell for  Please contact the author before using any part of this in a separate publication.