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Old Jul 14, 2009, 9:22 AM   #11
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Once again mole, awesome pictures. The shots of the forest remind me of what I see when hiking in Maine.

I think I like the first fall best but both are stunning. The last shot is fantastic. How long did he linger on your finger? The flowers were sharp and beautiful.

As always I enjoyed these pictures.

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Old Jul 14, 2009, 2:20 PM   #12
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Love your series here!

I like the first waterfall better. Just a personal preference, don't know why I prefer it (other than I like to see the base most of the time).

Interesting you should mention the fungus growing on the dead trees - there's not a lot of fungus around is our dry climate, so I was rather surprised to see fungus growing here and there. Now that you mentioned it, it was always growing on dead thees - both standing snags and downed logs. It wasn't pretty like yours, just white blobs that didn't photograph against the blackened bark.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 6:52 PM   #13
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Really great pix Mole!
The fungus is quite pretty, the flowers stunning and the butterfly is a shot I can only dream about!
don't know why but the first water fall appeals to me the most also.

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Old Jul 14, 2009, 7:03 PM   #14
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These are all great pics mole. Makes me realize just how far I have to go before I become just an OK photographer. Like GW, I don't know why, but the first waterfall pic appeals to me more than the second. I've said it before but it bears repeating: it's been many years since I hiked in the southern Appalachians, and I definitely need to get back there before too much longer.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 8:36 PM   #15
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Well, you have a unanimous vote for the 1st waterfall as of now. It's my favorite, too.

As usual, all stunning photos. I agree with mtnman. Makes me realize I have a long ways to go before being an OK photographer.

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Old Jul 14, 2009, 9:01 PM   #16
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Great pictures, I especially like the macros or close ups. Which lens(es) were you using?

I visited some friends near Brevard, NC, last month, and the hemlocks around them are affected as well. They can treat a few of them, but it is rather limited as to what they can do.

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Old Jul 14, 2009, 9:54 PM   #17
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Thanks to all for the very kind comments, and glad you enjoyed a few shots from the hike. I didn't mention, but if you are planning to hike in this area, be sure to take along a good map & compass, or a GPS unit - many of the trails are not well-marked, some quite overgrown. For example, much of this hike was on the Sarvis Cove trail, which starts off quite clear, but is much overgrown with stinging nettles about halfway up, and then covered with fallen limbs for the last mile or so! We keep our trails in better shape in the State Parks!

Lou - I've heard from a number of botanists that the high country forests in our region are very similar to northern New England. The Swallowtail was puddling on the ground. I just wiped some sweat onto my fingertip and coaxed him on. Many butterflies (especially the males) like salt and other minerals. One of my daughters has some great shots of butterflies on sweaty childrerns' noses!

Harriet - most fungi live off of dead, decaying things. Only a few will attack live things. Thanks for the feedback on the waterfalls as well. There are some much bigger & prettier ones not too far from this one. Will have to check them out again sometime soon, and get some prettier shots...

GW - Butterfly shots are really not hard at all. Just a bit of patience waiting at their favorite feeding or sunning spot. A surprising number of species are drawn to horse manure! You can also draw in some lovely butterflies, and some amazing moths, with rotting fruit.

MtnMan - don't sell yourself short - I've seen some great photos of yours here! Hope our paths cross out in the Mts one of these days!

Patty - thanks for one more vote for the waterfall. You are a fine photographer - as you've proven with a bunch of great photos posted here!

Elliot - My primary lens is the Tamron 18-250, which has semi-macro (about 1:4) capability. I also have a Sigma 105 macro, but was not able to use it that day - it's hard to hold two dog leashes and change lenses at the same time! Yes, the problem with Hemlocks is across the eastern US. The Smoky Mts park staff is fighting most aggressively - with sprays and with beetle predators. Let's hope & pray it's not a losing battle. We've lost so many fine tree species, it sure would be a shame to lose these too.
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Old Jul 15, 2009, 10:36 PM   #18
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I too love the waterfall and always like the mushrooms, the flowers are so sharp also.


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