Early October is typically the start of my search for fall colors, but this year…
Chasing the water
The weather last Friday was predicted to be cloudy−a great day to photograph waterfalls. A friend and I planned a trip where we had decided on our first destination. We would decide the second destination later that morning based on the weather. A few days before the trip, we received about two inches of rain. Where we were going could have had zero to three or more inches of rain. It rained at both our destinations as the creeks were full.
The first stop was at McCormick’s Creek State Park, the oldest in Indiana. Our first hike was to the state quarry so named because it provided some of the limestone for the state capital building in Indianapolis. The hike was down a steep ridge. The area is quite overgrown and I found it difficult to find a good shot. After climbing back up the ridge, we decided to hike to the waterfall that is in a canyon.
The park’s waterfall is on McCormick’s Creek. I visited the area last summer and was hoping to wade or walk along the creek to get a better perspective on the waterfall. Did I mention rain? The creek filled the full width of the canyon and was swift. I did not take my waders, but doubt I would have ventured into the water with my gear. The concrete platform below the viewing stand provides a good view of the creek, but not of the waterfall. I spent my time photographing the rapids creek.
Next, we climbed up the stairs to the viewing stand that looks down on the falls. I was not too interested in photographing the falls from above, but took a few shots. When I viewed the images on my desktop monitor, I could see the impressive patterns of the water.
Given that it was still wet, we decided to skip one of our choices as the hiking would be hazardous on the slippery rocks. Our next destination was Cataract Falls at Cataract SRA. This set of falls is considered the largest in Indiana, but not the largest drop. The two main falls are the upper and lower falls. Again, the area received enough rain to make the photography interesting. There were several visitors to the area, but no one was fishing. The last time I visited the lower falls, there were folks everywhere making it difficult to get a good photo.
It is an area worth visiting again later this fall when there is some color in the trees. Walking to the falls from your car is a very short walk and relatively flat. There are other photo opportunities at Cataract that do not involve the waterfalls. One could easily spend a half day or more photographing the area in good light.
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