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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:17 AM   #1
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Default Red Fork and Unaka Mt

Had a bit of spare time yesterday to take some friends up to Unaka Mountain and nearby Red Fork Falls. It's in another designated wilderness area in Cherokee National Forest (in case you are wondering, we were very careful not to bring our hang glider!!)
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:20 AM   #2
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There was much evidence of approaching autumn - cooler temperatures, damp drizzly weather. Autumn was also reflected in the bright tints of the Red Maples, the late-season blooms (goldenrods), and tussock caterpillars wandering the fading blueberry bushes.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:21 AM   #3
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Salamanders are also wandering this time of year, as the springs and seeps diminish in size and flow... This big fellow was not very patient, and barely stood still for a quick shot.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:23 AM   #4
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Another impatient wanderer did pause long enough for us to see that he is a Northern (not sourthern) Pearly Eye (you can tell by the color pattern on the anntennas). I posted some pictures of his kinfolk over at the "close-ups" forum a while back.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:25 AM   #5
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Up near the top, the Mt Ash is at peak ripeness (and full of shy, noisy catbirds who would not be photographed). Many fungi also at a peak near the peak!
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:26 AM   #6
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We had hoped for some great views at the top. As usual, the fog and damp rolled in before we hit the best views. But all enjoyed the cool damp beauty anyway!
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:28 AM   #7
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On the way back down, we stopped at nearby Red Fork Falls. The main falls is about 60' tall, and there are several smaller falls. Despite the wet weather, the flow was rather low, but all the falls were lovely. Here's a view of one of the lower (smaller) falls.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:29 AM   #8
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Here are three views of the main falls. Which do you prefer?
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:30 AM   #9
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Dogs and hikers were all tired but happy on our return trip. Hope you enjoyed this little hike too! As always, glad for any suggestions for improving!!
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 9:23 AM   #10
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Wow.

The color contrast of the caterpillar shot makes it my favorite.

I like how the main waterfall angles down to fill the frame.

Last edited by cameanee; Sep 8, 2009 at 9:26 AM.
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