Helton Creek Falls


Just north of Walasi-Yi at the bottom of Blood Mountain, flows Helton Creek. Following a gravel road filled with ruts and rivulets leads to Helton Creek Falls. I’ve been to the falls on a handful of occasions, but only in mid summer. During the warm season, the creek is well behaved and though great to visit, the falls themselves are not awe inspiring. However, during my visit in December, the rain was relentless for several days before the sun came out.

With the sun cooperating, Josh and I drove over the blood to see the the water and hike a little on the Appalachian Trail. As you can see, the upper falls were spectacular. The water flew over the top and thundered into the pool at the bottom. Josh pointed out the sun caught in the mist and we both started shooting.


Just as wonderful were the lower falls. While the upper falls are vertical, the lower falls have a shallower slope. However, they were just as amazing as they roared by. We had better access to the lower falls and I could feel the strength of the water as it flowed by.

I’m glad we had the day together.Getting out with our cameras is always something that we both enjoy. Downtown, in the mountains, or in the forest, we always manage to have a great time.


Suspended Leaf 2

Suspended Leaf 1

Suspended Leaf 3

Yesterday, Jim and I went for a nice cool hike in Clifton Gorge. It’s the only spot in this area where you can feel as though you are trekking through the mountains. Of course, the allusion is due to hiking down into the gorge.

We walked along the river, skirting boulders and a fair bit of mud when we came across a leaf, floating on the breeze. It seemed to be suspended. As though it was hovering in mid air. We both took our time and shot frame after frame of the patient leaf. I think we could have continued to shoot for hours, such was the nature of the floating leaf.

Of course, being suspended on a gossamer thread might have had a lot to do with the entire set up. Still, you have to take the opportunity when it presents itself.

Have a great week, folks. I will leave your with a shot of Jim shooting the leaf.

Jim and Leaf

the dog woods are blooming

Columns and Dogwood


They are not the first signs of spring. There are a lot of flowering trees that show off their color long before the dogwoods. The fruit trees are flowering. The red bud has long given us its purpleish petals.  However, the flowering dogwood is one of my favorites. The whites are now in full bloom and the pinks are not far behind. Dogwoods are here to tell us that the winter is now behind us and warmer weather is here to stay.

This well groomed specimen from the Dayton Art Institute is one of my favorite examples. It is airy and the blooms are spectacular.

Have a great day.


what a wet week it has been

Wet Leaves


Here in Ohio, it's been a cold wet week. We are in that transitional period of early spring when we are teased by a day or two of warmth and sunshine, just to be brought back to reality by cold and chilly wind borne rain. 

Still, winter's freezes and snow are behind us. The spring flowers and flowering trees are doing their best to lift our spirits with the hope of a warm summer to come.

Today promises to be a sunnier and warmer day. I hope yours is spectacular. 

Have a great week ahead.


a walk in the spring woods

Virginia Bluebell
Virginia Bluebell
Dutchman's Breeches
Dutchman's Breeches
In yesterday's post, I mentioned that Thursday included a long hike in Clifton Gorge. The gorge was carved out by the Little Miami river, whose banks are heavily wooded. This time of year, the leaves on the trees and bushes have barely begun to emerge, leaving the spring flowers exposed for the eye to see.
The Trillium (both white and red) is just beginning to bloom along with the Virginia Bluebell. It won't be long before the woods are carpeted with white and blue. For two weeks or so, the gorge will be full of color.
One of my favorites is Dutchman's Breeches, a plant that lives on the side of the limestone boulders and displays small drop like white flowers that have the shape of….well, they are shaped like a Dutchman's breeches.
There are many thousands of species of flowering wild flowers and plants in the gorge. I can identify many of them. However, I've included two of my favorites in hopes that you can identify them. You can view them in the last two photos. The small bamboo like plant grows to about 18 inches tall and grows under the trees near the river banks.
I hope all of you have a great day. I'll bring more photos of the gorge's wild flowers the next time that I visit.



fallen tree


Thursday, I had a long walk in Clifton Gorge, a state nature preserve located about twenty minutes south of me. It's one of the rights of spring that help to get me out of the winter funk that weighs on me during the long dark months.

During my walk, I came across this fallen tree with its broken branches radiating outwards like the pins on the cylinder inside of a music box. In its day, the tree's branches were full of the music of birds, squirrels, and the sound to the wind whipping through its branches. Perhaps the staccato sound of a wood pecker looking for a meal echoed from its trunk.

This tree's music is silent. Not everything emerges from the long winter unscathed. Time demands its due. I emerged from my winter a bit worn and ragged, but I get to embrace the spring with my senses tingling and that is good enough for me.


sycamore reflection

Icy Reflection 2


This image combines two favorites in one photo; sycamore trees and fog.  I am always looking for a good sycamore scene. The white trunks are gorgeous, especially in the winter. The problem is that I struggle to find scenes in which the tree contrasts nicely with the background.

When I wake up and see fog in the morning, I always run out with my camera. I am intrigued by the way the fog shrouds the landscape, hiding details or coyly revealing brief glimpses.

Imagine how excited I was to see both a nicely contrasting sycamore sitting in a foggy scene. The reflection…pure bonus!