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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:23 PM   #1
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Default Sill Branch in Sampson Mountain

Had time for a short hike into Sampson Mountain Wilderness recently, visiting one of my favorite streams in the wilderness area: Sill Branch.

Sampson Mountain is at the edge of Washington County Tennessee, surrounded by mostly rural countryside...
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:27 PM   #2
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We've had plenty of rain (and wet snow) lately, so the wild places are rich with moisture and life. Here are some Jelly Fungi on a decaying tree near Sill Branch. Some folks call jelly fungus "witch butter," but it's not going on my toast!! (notice how lush the lichens and mosses look - they also thrive in all this moisture...)
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:29 PM   #3
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Of course, plenty of moisture means the streams are running high. This makes for some interesting creek crossings, and also for some fine wet scenes...

Here are three views of the same portion of the creek - which do you prefer?
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:31 PM   #4
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Sill Branch has some massive boulders - broken from nearby cliffs, and rounded by the flow...
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:32 PM   #5
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And some very odd-shaped rock formations as well...

(which composition do you prefer?)
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:35 PM   #6
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Kevin/Frogfish told me he sometimes preferred faster shots of the flowing water. So here are two views of the same spot in the creek, first a composite (hdr) of several shots from 0.8 to 1.2 sec., second at 1/15 sec. Surprising (to me) how much difference this makes in the image. Any preferences?
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:38 PM   #7
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One of the big winter attractions at Sill Branch are the waterfalls. Spring is wildflower season here, summer is "critter" season, but cold and damp means full falls.

Some of the trees make for a nice frame at the main falls...

(again, three different perspectives - which do you prefer?)
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:39 PM   #8
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And a wide view or two of the main falls...

(at times of low water, it's not much more than a trickle - surface runoff makes a big difference to this stream...)
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:42 PM   #9
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Only had time for a quick hike this time - our recent storms have kept me very busy with trail work at the home park. But am looking forward to some longer wilderness hikes soon!

Hope you enjoyed this little hike, and that you'll share your comments, suggestions & critique!
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 7:46 PM   #10
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I prefer the "middle" one -- the middle FOV (from EXIF it is 2012:01:12 14:31:24) both because of the general framing and the deeper depth of field. But I quite like the widest FOV, too, because one sees the whole waterfall. Nice choices!
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