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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Silver Falls Spring

Never one to waste a precious Friday off, when my son's graduation mass coincided with a scheduled "flex" day from work, I took the opportunity to get in a morning hike at nearby Silver Falls State Park.


Rhodies blooming at the lodge

It was mid-May - perfect time to visit!  Wildflowers would be at peak bloom, and the waterfalls running full.


Monkeyflowers

Parking my car near the South Lodge, the nearby woods were already showing off pink accents from blooming rhododendron bushes.  Things were off to a great start!


Green canyon reflection on the water

Walking down the paved path from the lodge, I was greeted with a superb view of South Falls.  This 177 foot tall beauty spills into a large, rocky amphitheater.  Lush, green foliage surrounded the area, its color reflecting in the splash pool below.


South Falls

My arrival was perfectly timed.  I got most of my South Falls photographs before the rising sun crested into the canyon.  Although it provided lovely back lighting on the forest, the contrast between shade and sun made conditions difficult for photography.  Time to move on!


Sunlight filters through the forest

So I ambled down the trail to the next waterfall.  The scenery was a pure delight.  My path followed lovely Silver Creek, which burbled between the dense forest, ultra-green with new leaves.


Lovely white flower

And I discovered lots of wildflowers blooming along its banks. 


Corydalis

Like delicate pink Corydalis and purple larkspur.


Larkspur were thick!

After a mile, the path began to switchback steeply downhill.  Rounding a sharp bend, Lower South Falls came into view.


Lower South Falls

Although its top was beginning to be illuminated by sunlight, most of this cascade was in shade.  As I set for some long exposure shots, my trusty 24-105 mm lens decided to poop out.


Silky fan

Arghh!  Equipment failure is so annoying!  Luckily, I'd packed a couple extra lenses and quickly switched to my 11-24 wide angle. 


Great view of Lower South Falls

This lens was actually perfect for fitting the entire waterfall in the frame.  I loved this view of Lower South Falls, looking up at its very top.  A similar image to this one, which won second place in a 2014 local photography contest.


Striped wildflowers

After spending a lot of time at Lower South Falls, trying for that perfect waterfall shot, I had a quick snack and continued towards the next cascade.


Bug on a bleeding heart

There were so many wildflowers along this portion of the trail!  Like these vibrant bleeding heart blossoms.  A little bug on one of the flowers even posed for me.


Ferns were prolific!

Not only flowers, the forest was thick with these deep green ferns. 


More unknown (but pretty) wildflowers

So many flowers, but sadly I couldn't identify many.  I really need to educate myself more on wildflower identification.


Sturdy bridge over the creek

Around 2 1/2 miles in, the trail crossed over Silver Creek on this very sturdy footbridge.



Double Falls

Not long after, a short side path led me to Double Falls.  An extremely tall, thin falls, I had to stretch my neck to see the entire length.  Good thing I had the wide angle lens on my camera!  Even with that, I could barely fit in both cascades. Can you see the other waterfall near the top?


Bottom of Double falls

I really loved how the very bottom of Double Falls fanned out into a series of smaller stairsteps, like the train on a bridal gown.


Rainbow at Middle North Falls

A short distance away, roared Middle North Falls.  One of my favorites, I hastened the pace, eager to revisit.  A side trail leads visitors directly behind its lacy curtain.  And - bonus - I spied a tiny rainbow in the creek below!


Middle North Falls

This year, our spring had been drier than normal.  Although it affected all the park's waterfalls, nowhere was this more apparent than at Middle North Falls.  Usually this cascade flows as a wide curtain across the entire basalt cliff.  But this year its output had been reduced to a single stream.


Lovely old-growth forest

By the time I'd passed by Middle North Falls, it was past noon, and the sunny skies had given way to hot temperatures.  The creek and waterfalls had cooled things down considerably.  But once I climbed out of the canyon, things got warm real quick.  Although my return trek was through a lovely old-growth forest, it was a hot hike.  The only saving grace is that it was short (1.5 miles) and I spied a patch of beautiful purple iris.


Wild iris

I returned to my car in plenty of time for the 4 o'clock mass.  My morning ramble fit perfectly into this busy day!

Although autumn is my favorite time to visit Silver Falls State Park, I was pleasantly surprised by the abundant spring beauty, and the number of wildflowers blooming here on this warm day in May.


Sharing with:  Floral Friday Fotos and Scenic Weekends

34 comments:

  1. Your captures of wildflowers and waterfalls are outstanding.
    Gorgeous post!

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  2. your post is a lovely way to start me day...thanks!

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  3. Nice series - lovely flowers

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  4. Hello Linda, another lovely hike. The wildflowers are gorgeous. I love the forest and all the waterfalls. It is a beautiful park. Lovely series of photos. Thanks for taking me along on your hike. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

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  5. What a lovely place to hike and all the waterfalls you shot are marvellous Linda. Love all the wild flowers adn tall trees as well

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  6. Silver Falls SP is a true gem...and you captured it beautifully!

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  7. Absolutely gorgeous, captivating and refreshing, Linda! I love waterfalls! Here in Montreal, it is very humid today so your photos are a much needed break. Thank you!

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  8. Forest, waterfalls, and flowers - what a perfect hike!

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  9. Just magnificent images. So many would be perfect on a canvas. Favourites are the 'lovely white flower' and 'Great view of Lower South Falls' but I would love to be heading down the trail of the old growth forest.

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  10. The two activities go well together...both beautiful.

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  11. So many gorgeous pics here. I love the one of the ferns!

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  12. Your pictures are all wonderful, as usual, but those pictures of the falls are incredible! And the backlit trees as well. So lovely. Thank you. :-)

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  13. So many beautiful images! How can you not love being outdoors!

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  14. Lindas e belas fotografias a natureza deixa-me sempre maravilhado.
    Um abraço e boa semana.
    Andarilhar

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  15. Hi! I like your water falls photos very much. I can not take such beautiful photos,I admire you! Thanks for sharing.

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  16. I can hardly believe that you have four such beautiful waterfalls on one hike, and outstanding pictures!

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  17. Wow those are stunning pictures and makes me want to visit and hike Silver Falls State Park. I love places like that!! The moon is full tonight, you should take pictures of it. I can never capture it with my iPhone but with your top notch camera and photography skills you should be able to get some amazing pictures (providing it won't be cloudy)

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  18. Another great walk! Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Beautiful flower and waterfalls! You are so lucky to live where you do! :)

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  20. What a great set of waterfalls - we don't always get enough rain for them to be at their best.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  21. How fun and I'm jealous of all the great falls pictures. You found a ton of great wildflowers too! Great job on the water shots and I guess I'll have to go "dogless" next time I'm there and go visit that park.

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  22. I'm still bummed my husband and I skipped over this place on our road trip last fall. Gorgeous!

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  23. The color tone of your photos is so warm and green. I am not sure what settings you use but you can really photo the trees and forest so well. Sometimes I put my white balance on cloudy to get that warm color. All of your photos could win a photo contest I think.

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  24. Such spectacular waterfalls! I admire your photos... and your energy!

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  25. Thank you for taking part in the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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  26. Again - beautiful wildflowers and wonderful shots of the falls. I admire you for carrying so much equipment. It must be the difference between being young and old!

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  27. Wonderful post. I took in each photo with pure delight. I love waterfalls so this was a reat treat to view. Also all the lovely wildflowers were just a pretty sight.

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  28. Your state has so many magnificent waterfalls! Just spectacular!

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  29. Gorgeous photos! The waterfalls are magnificent and I love all the flowers.

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  30. Hi Linda, thought I'd help you out with some flower ID's. The lovely white flower is a thimbleberry; the striped wildflowers are candy flowers. The unknown wildflower is a poser, definitely a member of the mustard family, if I had to guess I'd go with wild radish. Hope this helps!

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  31. Stunning waterfall shots. I should get out more with camera and tripod and have a play!

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