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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:03 AM   #1
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Default Rocky Fork to Buzzard Rock, and an experiment

Actually it was two experiments - recently got a new trail map for Rocky Fork Wilderness Area and wanted to try it out. Also recently got a (very used, bargain grade from KEH) Pentax A 35-105 F3.5 lens and wanted to try it out too!

Have often heard that nature photographers concentrate on the very close details, and on the broad landscape, but often miss or neglect the middle-range scenes. So wanted to try out that middle range at one of my favorite places.

Rocky Fork is a 10,000 acre wilderness area in nearby Unicoi County. Most of it is now part of Cherokee National Forest. It is laced with old roads, and some intrepid Mt Bikers rode them all, with GPS turned on, and prepared the best map so far of this rich green land.

So I took the new map and the old lens for a 10 mile hike up the Buzzard Rock.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:06 AM   #2
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My plan was to only use the 35-105, and force myself to notice those middle-range scenes. Despite the recent dry spell, streams at Rocky Fork were flowing quite well, and the land was rich & green!
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:08 AM   #3
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There are some big waterfalls at Rocky Fork, but this hike did not include any of those. It did include my favorite little falls, and my favorite big pool! (Also the dogs' favorite...)
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:10 AM   #4
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The trail was a steady uphill, yet never far from the sights and sounds of flowing water. Always green, and rich with late-season bloom. Here are some Bee Balms, a Yellow Coneflower, and a Purple-Flowered Raspberry (with friends).
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:12 AM   #5
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We came upon one small clump of Yellow-Fringed Orchid. Here I "cheated" on my lens plan, and added the Raynox close-up lens to get some detail shots...
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:15 AM   #6
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Rocky Fork is a great bear habitat - we saw lots of tracks and scats. We also heard many woodland birds, but could not photograph them. But we were able to get close to the fungus! Rocky Fork is an amazing mushroom habitat - here are several species that were right along the trail.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:17 AM   #7
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Playing a bit with light & DOF on these shots of Tall Meadow Rue. Not sure if I like these or not - what do you think?
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:20 AM   #8
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Buzzard Rock is at the NW corner of Rocky Fork, and offers a great view east & south across the wilderness area. There are no signs or trail markers - we would not have found it without the map. It was so exciting to look across a rich landscape that is free of paved roads, houses, cell phone towers... (I cheated here too, and took out the DA 16-45 for a few shots - see if you can tell which were taken with which lens!)
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 7:23 AM   #9
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Hike back down was quick (nearly all downhill) and uneventful. We were all a bit tired, but so glad that this fine wild land is protected for all to enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed the quick tour, and will offer your comments & suggestions!
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 10:51 AM   #10
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Very very nice series, I have a Pentax A 35-80 that I have totally ignored I think I will get it out, Thanks for sharing

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...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DAL 55-300, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8 DA 18-135, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
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