Readers’ wildlife photos

January 4, 2023 • 8:15 am

Send in your photos. In an ideal steady state, I’d get one batch per day, but that’s not coming. Thanks!

Today’s batch, centered on Arkansas waterfalls, comes from reader Kevin Elskin. His notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Recently a contributor sent photos from the Kintyre Peninsula of Scotland. That brought back memories from a recent trip, and I wanted to add one photo of my own. At the very southern end of Kintyre lay a quaint golf course called Dunaverty. If this course were located in the middle of Iowa then no one would give it a second thought. But located on the ocean on the Mull of Kintyre, it rivals Pebble Beach for the views (and at a fraction of the cost). That is Ireland in the distance, over the ocean, off to the left.

But on to my main event, a short tour of some Arkansas waterfalls. I wish to assure you that I do not work for the Arkansas Department of Tourism, but when things are shut down you tour close to home.

You might be thinking, “Arkansas has waterfalls?”, but yes we do. In fact there is a book by Tim Ernst called Arkansas Waterfalls that documents over 200 different waterfalls. They are not spectacular falls like Niagara or Yosemite, but the sound of falling water, up close, is a tonic for the soul, a meditation that drowns out the noise our talented ape brains generate in such volume. If you that experience with a healthy hike through the woods, and let us say that your mind and body will thank you for the effort.

Arkansas waterfalls are temperamental. They come and go with the rains. This means the best waterfall days are days when the ground is wet and muddy, perhaps after weeks of spring rains or the hours just after a “gully washer” or “toad strangler” of a thunderstorm. Waterfalls in Arkansas come in many varieties. Some can be seen from the comfort of your car. Others might require a moderate hike down a clearly marked trail. The most fun are the ones that require significant bushwacking through the hills, with careful climbs down steep cliffs into deeply shadowed hollows.  Your reward will be solitude, as few tend to venture there. And maybe a few ticks, so check yourself often.

With that preamble, let me begin with photos of Arkansas’ tallest waterfall, Hemmed-in-Hollow. At 209 feet high, this waterfall claims to be the tallest between the Appalachians and the Rockies. If you are canoeing on the Buffalo River, this fall is only a short hike from the river. We hiked in from the other direction, which involves a 1000 foot elevation change. Getting in was easy, getting out was a haul.

The first photo shows the falls from a distance as we were hiking in.

The second photo is from the base of the falls. For perspective, there are people in the shadows at the bottom of the photo.

The third photo was taken after a small climb up from the base. My nephew is visible in the photo.

Another fun waterfall that is a moderate but easy hike is call Glory Hole. Fourth grade jokes aside, the neat thing about Glory Hole is that water falls through a hole in the outcropped rock.

A fierce guardian we found near the falls:

And wherever you look, there is a pleasant cascade of water running to greet you.

Falling Water Falls can literally be viewed from the front seat of your car. It is not terribly high, but we managed to catch it on a very high flow day after heavy rains. A black and white and a color enhanced higher definition photo for your pleasure.

Last winter, my son and my brother hiked to Magnolia Falls. Again not overly impressive, but just a lovely spot to enjoy a cool winter day. You can see my son next to the falls in the second photo.

New Year’s Day 2022 I took a solo jaunt and visited Glory B falls. Another falls that can be viewed from your car. Or if you hike down you can see it from both sides.

And again, on a rainy day, there are many unnamed adjacent falls for your pleasure.

So come visit Arkansas sometime. Yeah, it is full of redneck Trump supporters. But it has its charms, too.

12 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. If you come this way, look up Blanchard Springs Caverns. In the middle of nowhere, but great scenery and the Caverns themselves are gorgeous.

  1. Wonderful photos – thanks!

    My nephew is visible in the photo.
    Took me a while to pick him out – it’s like one of our host’s “Spot the …” pictures .

  2. Let’s go noodling! just kidding.
    Thanks for these cool photos. Too bad states are politicized by their people who “run” the state. The South gets a bad rap and deserves it politically, but the landscape doesn’t and in my experience, either do the people.

Leave a Reply