Chase County Falls

Chase County Falls

With the temperatures warming up this weekend I thought it might be a good time to visit some of the waterfalls in the area with the hopes that the snow melt would have them running full.  So I took a road trip down to the Chase County Fishing Lake to see how the falls there were doing.  Turns out it wasn’t as warm as I thought it would be (but still a very welcome change from the recent bitter cold!) and I was a bit naive about how fast the snow and ice would melt so not much water was flowing yet.  I liked the photograph above the best of the ones I made at the falls.  Since there wasn’t much water flowing over the falls, the close ups I took just weren’t that interesting, I thought this one that framed the falls with some foreground rocks and snow was more interesting.  There had been enough snow melting to make the paths around the falls very muddy and it was challenging to get back up the hill to the lake. I slipped and fell a couple of times trying to walk back up the paths and finally had to climb out in some of the brush next to the path.  I’ve posted several times about the fun of photographing nature with other photographers, this was one time I was glad I was alone so nobody could see me sliding around in the mud! (though I could have used a hand and it probably would have been safer to have someone with me).

Chase County Lake

Chase County Lake

By the time I made the climb/crawl back out of the falls the sun was just starting to set over the lake.  Being on the dam was a perfect place to photograph the setting sun across the lake and made it easy to move around looking for interesting foreground subjects. I liked the shapes of the rocks in the photograph above.

Sunset Chase County Lake

Sunset Chase County Lake

At this point the wind was really starting to blow and it was getting cold standing in the wind on top of the dam and I almost left.  I could see that the sun was going to pop out of the cloud bank it was in just before it went below the horizon and I knew when it did the light would really be beautiful shining across the lake, so I decided to wait a few more minutes for the sun.  I’m not good at waiting, but I’m glad I did.  I had noticed the star shaped hole in the ice earlier in the evening and tried to get some photographs of it, but they just weren’t that interesting.  When the sun came out of the cloud bank though it lit that hole in the ice up like a spot light and I knew I had to make a photograph of that.  This was probably my favorite of the evening.  What a difference in the light a few minutes can make!

Fenceline

Fenceline

As I was leaving the lake the sky turned an incredible red and I was scrambling to find a place to try and photograph it. Not far from the lake I found a side road and bailed out of my car in time to make a few photographs of the last of the light. It was starting to get dark at this point so the foreground was extremely under exposed in my photographs so I had bracketed my exposures for an HDR image. The photograph above is a composite of 3 exposures.  Without this (or a split neutral density filter) there is no way I could have made a photograph at this time of the day that reflected what I was seeing (and experiencing).

Trees at twilight

Trees at twilight

With the warmer temps the roads were getting a bit messy and I had to drive down the side road I was on for a ways before I could find a place to turn around and head home.  I’m glad I did because I came across this interesting line of trees on the horizon with just enough enough light for some silhouette photographs…and probably best of all, I found a good solid place to turn around and didn’t get stuck!

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