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By Joseph Dempsey No Room for Improvement

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday, July 26, at around 8 a.m., this is how the east finger of “Six Finger Falls” on Falling Water Creek appeared to the camera’s eye. Flowing through the wilds northeast of Ben Hur, Arkansas, these falls are downstream from “Falling Water Falls,” the feeder falls for which the creek gets its name. Or is it vice-versa?

When I earlier observed the falls on May 31st of this year, the shot featured above would have been impossible because the volume of water was substantially higher. To get this week’s photo, yours truly was seated on a rock at the bottom of the falls. The wide-angle distortion exaggerates the distance. I was probably no more than four feet from the falls.

Six Finger Falls cascades over and through a set of huge rocks spanning the creek. After some several centuries, perhaps even a millennium or two of erosive action, the creek has gouged six channels to mark its preferred path over the rocks. Hence the name.

In July the water stage is usually low, which is the case most of the time. As a result, you can get to the bottom of the falls in most places, sometimes without wading. For this reason, the falls are a relatively popular destination for day trips. The pools above and below the falls are not terribly deep and make good family “swimming holes.”

I say relatively because getting to the falls requires a 20-minute trip down a gravel road. And you have to have a pretty good idea where the falls are, since there are no signs or markings to point the way. The falls are in the Richland Creek Wilderness Area. Wildernesses (Wildernii?) are by definition unimproved. Not a bad thing when it comes to waterfalls. I find little room for mankind’s idea of improvement in these or just about any other waterfalls.

You have to scramble down and crawl back up a rather steep bank to dip your feet in the falls. Once there, you can pause to observe all that is to be seen. So, the price of admission is a trip down a gravel road, a search, a descent, and a climb out. Once you are on the scene, you begin understand the concept of how “improvements” would not improve Six Finger Falls. It is as Our Maker hath wrought. Who can argue with that?

N O T E S:  
Nikon D300 – Tripod mounted - Sigma 10-20mm D, DC USM at 11 mm (16 mm focal length equivalent in 35mm) The camera was locked on the tripod for seven exposures at .7 stop difference to achieve what you see. The camera was set on aperture priority with a higher starting aperture to ensure slower shutter speeds.

See another picture of Six Finger Falls plus an Ozark café / country store inside and out, on our blog, Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.
Click here and go!

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weekly grist

Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog.  — J. D.


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