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09/23/16 Fall is starting a bit early in Arkansas–Buffalo River Trip

Late afternoon light creeping along Roark Bluff on the Buffalo National River

Late afternoon light creeping along Roark Bluff on the Buffalo National River

Another example of the amazing Dynamic range of the Phase One IQ100 digital back.  This is one exposure and I was still able to hold my shadows and keep the highlights in line.  This camera still continues to amaze me. What an amazing improvement over the CCD technology of the past.

On my recent trip to the Buffalo, I was surprised to see that the fall colors have already started to display.  This shot was taken on the upper end of the Buffalo River at Steel Creek featuring Roark Bluff.  The water is low, as expected for this time of year, but I was surprised by the amount of color already starting to show.  Along with several tree species that have just turned brown.   In this shot you can see that the Sycamore tree on the right side has a nice golden brown color and the trees to the immediate right edge are also showing some color.

The trees on the left are all Maple and Gum trees and since the sun was setting through them, I really could not see enough to tell what the colors might be.  But looking upstream you can see that several oaks are getting the same yellow look.

This is tough shot to take in the late afternoon, since the sun will set right at your left side.  But the reward is that the entire bluff will be lit up briefly by the sun.  In the summer months, the effect is more pronounced since the sun is higher in the sky, but in the fall you can still catch a nice yellow tint to the rocks.  I love to see the transition from yellow to grey on the bluff.

If you are lucky, you will not have any wind and can catch a wonderful reflection.   This shot is also an excellent photographic study in the morning as most times there will be some fog on the river.  You can catch the reflection and the fog both.  I opt for the other solution which is to climb to the top of the bluff and catch the same shot but from the top of the bluff.  Either way you can expect to find excellent shots.

This part of the Buffalo also is close to the Boxley Valley, which offers Lost Valley, and Elk among other great things to photograph.

07/01/12 The weather in Arkansas remains bleak–Heat and more Heat

The heat wave continues in Arkansas

The heat wave continues in Arkansas

Well as much as I would like to say “it’s all OK here in the State of Arkansas”, I really can’t.  This has to be the worst heat wave since the mid 1980’s when the state went almost 60 days with no measurable rainfall.  As you can see from the forecast page above, for the next ten days Arkansas temperatures will stay well over 95 degrees and on many days they will climb over 100 degrees.

If this continues for much longer, then you can safely assume a few things:

  1. Within 20 more days you will start to see large numbers of trees going into stress.  When this occurs the leaves will turn brown and stay on the tree until late fall.  However it also means that any hope of a good photographic fall will be ruined.
  2. Most if not all of the major trunk streams in the State are going to dry up totally, this includes the upper Buffalo River near Boxley, Piney Creek near Russellville, the Cossatot River in the Southwest corner of Arknasas, and the Mulberry River near Fort  Smith.  The smaller streams like Richland Creek have already dried up and unless the state gets some significant rainfall in July and August, I don’t think they will have anything in the fall either.
  3. The fire hazard in the state is at highest level.  On my last trip to the Buffalo River in early June, I was already seeing sights along the roads that let me know we were in for a long hot one.  The roadside wildflowers were gone and the grasses that grow along the road side were all brown.  Now almost a month later, all of these areas are going to be at a high risk if someone throws out a cigarette.
  4. Deer, Elk, and other large wildlife will stay in the deep glens and valleys of the state and not venture out in to the flats due to the excessive heat.  So wildlife photography will be much harder than stopping along the road side and taking out your camera.
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