Waterfalls, Morgan County 2011 061 2Water, water everywhere…

My apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  I hope the need for royalty payments  for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner have passed.

This is a sentiment that many of us in eastern Kentucky have expressed over the past few months.  Some were duped by The Farmer’s Almanac website which I will quote, “Summer will be hotter and drier than normal, with the hottest periods in mid to late June, mid to late July, and early to mid-August.”

OK, maybe the “powers that be” changed the season of summer to be from July 24- July 28, because those days were hot and dry, except for the steam that rose out of the swampy goo.

Trying to mow my three acres in this saturated state has become my Waterloo…I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

This summer my grass has been growing at a faster rate than the seemingly, steroid infused mildew that was in the bathtub of my college fraternity house.

Mowing has become necessary again, however I cannot mow.  “Why can’t I mow”, you ask, quizzically.  Because IT’S RAINING!!!  I know you people living in California can’t grasp this concept of rain.  Maybe some pimply faced  intern at The Farmer’s Almanac confused California with Kentucky in the compiling of this year’s almanac.  Somewhere a California farmer is looking for blue mold.

I took this picture of cascades of a creek in the Yocum and Pleasant Run area of Morgan County, KY.  It resembles the water running through my side yard during the last storm.  Shortly afterward, I saw a small Asian boy leading a yak down my street.

My mower has been stuck in mud…stuck in mud…stuck in mud… three times this summer, because you can’t see the water standing in the yard because the grass is so high.  I went to the local hardware store to see if my old Snapper could be fitted with floats like a seaplane.  The amazing thing is I was not the first one to request this.  Since Snapper does not make a hover riding mower yet, I will have to wait for the rain to stop and then send out a dove.

While waiting on my yard to dry, I can always weedeat my gutters.

If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.


Kellacey Falls



I went to ask my dad for directions to Kellacey Falls in northern Morgan County, KY.   I hadn’t been there in a little while and I knew there was an intersection where I either had to go straight or turn right.  Given my past results on taking true and false tests in school, I did not want to leave that decision at fifty percent.  It always seemed like I gave (or guessed) the wrong answer much more than half of the time on those tests.  I am a statistical marvel, or as my wife says, “It is a marvel at how bad your sense of direction can be.”

My 86-year old father was a rural letter carrier in Morgan County for close to thirty years.   He went past Kellacey Falls every day he delivered the mail.  After getting directions from him, I turned to leave and hurried to the door for I knew what was to come…

“Don’t you dare go by yourself.  Call your brother!”

I did not get to the door in time.

With my 58-year old head hung low, I left that same house feeling as if I was ten years old again.  I knew I had to call my 62-year old brother for security.  Sometimes things get pretty rough going through Tom’s Branch and Dehart.

On the drive out to Kellacey Falls, I was glad to have my brother in the car with me.  It had been too long since we had been together, just the two of us.

My dad called me on my cell phone, which is a marvel in itself, to see how we were. It had suddenly occurred to him that  he had sent both of his sons out into the wilds of Kellacey.  He shuddered to think that not just one of his sons could fall over the edge of the falls, but he could lose both of us.  Our foray into adulthood and past midlife still did not give him the confidence in our ability not to fall off a cliff.  Little did he know that I fell just a few short minutes previous to this adventure, trying to navigate a one-foot step at my house, falling gracefully to the gentle clutches of Mother Earth.  Also little did he know that my protector was at one time on his belly, in the mud, peering over the 200-foot rock ledge proclaiming how high we were.  Some passers-by may have thought “high” had a different connotation.

A picture like this took some planning.

I ordered a remote control device for my camera just for this photo.  I put my camera on my tripod and fully extended it.  I used a 7 mm fish-eye lens.  I set up a step ladder on the edge of the falls and wedged my tripod between the step and the pail shelf (yes that is what it is called, I looked it up).  The tripod with the camera is now extended out over the cliff, so I put a concrete block on the lower step of the ladder to weigh the ladder down so the weight of the extended tripod would not cause this setup to tumble over the edge of the cliff.

At one point, when I was close to the edge, I felt a little tug and looked down. My older brother was holding on to my belt loop…my protector.   Dad knew what he was doing after all.

Of course my protector wasn’t holding on to anything else.

If you like this picture, you can see more of my photos here.



Wrigley Falls

Wrigley Falls sets in a picturesque little alcove off the side of the road, outside of the small hamlet by the same name.  Wrigley is located in  northern Morgan County.   And yes it is named after William Wrigley,  the son of the business mogul who gave us Spearmint gum and Wrigley Field in Chicago .   Mr. Wrigley was also a president of the Morehead & Northfork Railway that went through this small town  in the early 1900’s.

I have a strange “six degrees of separation” with the Wrigley family.  You see, my mother was born in Wrigley and lived there until she was a young girl and I also have seen two baseball games in Wrigley Field.

Some of my earliest memories of Wrigley involved my grandfather taking me fishing at Lost Point Lake.  I was only four or five years old at the time.   I also remember getting soundly beaten in a junior high basketball game in a small, crowded, steamy gymnasium that also served as a school cafeteria.  We were the “big, bad town team”.   It was my first encounter with a hostile crowd, not in the mean sense, just not cheering for us  so loudly.

I won’t say anything else about  that game because I have not come to grips with that defeat some forty years later.  It’s probably  one of the causes of some of my self-doubt issues or maybe my maturity level hasn’t progressed beyond the eighth grade.  The latter is the more likely case according to my wife.

I processed this picture in black and white because of the contrast of the falls that was shot at such a slow shutter speed.  It looks like a spotlight on a small stage.

If you are driving on KY Route 7, turn west on Route 711 and drive a couple of miles.  The falls will be on your left.  You can’t miss it…just like the Wrigley Wildcats couldn’t miss that fateful night many years ago in that small gymnasium.  Did I mention the gym was small?

If you like this picture, you can see more here.


Sunburst Over Broke Leg Falls

While I have been showing photos of scenes that will not look the same in West Liberty since the March 2nd tornado, I thought I would include this shot of Broke Leg Falls.

I went to Broke Leg Falls in Menifee County, Kentucky last summer to get a waterfall shot to add to my portfolio.  Everyone who photographs nature always has some good waterfall shots.  Good waterfall photos are not technically hard to produce if you have a tripod and compose your shot well, and let’s face it they look really nice.

Asking a photographer to produce a waterfall photo is like asking a drummer to play “Wipeout”.   When I was going to dances as a preteen and teen, everyone would request “Wipeout” and cease all activity and gather ’round to hear the band play this amazing rhythmic masterpiece. If the drummer pulled it off, then he was forever implanted in the minds of those gathered as an accomplished percussionist.

Now I am not saying those of you who will see this photo will think of me as an accomplished photographer…but I can play “Wipeout” on the dashboard of my car while driving 75 on the interstate.

Anyway, I set up my tripod at this spot since I could see the setting sun and I thought it would add something to the shot. I set my f-stop at f/22 because this gives a good starburst effect and you can shoot at a slow speed to give the waterfall the blurr effect everyone likes.

I remember going to Broke Leg Falls with my parents’ Sunday School class for picnics when I was young and I thought it was a magical place. The kids would run all over and our parents seemed oblivious as to where we were.  We would show up in time to eat…go off exploring again and show up when it was time to leave. I had my 23 year-old daughter and her boyfriend with me and I was always aware of where they were every second while I was taking pictures.

When questioning my dad about the seemingly lack of oversight from his generation on us kids when we were somewhere like Broke Leg Falls, he would always say, “I thought you had enough sense to stay on the paths and not go over the falls.”

I saw Broke Leg Falls a few months after the tornado.  I knew it was going to be devastating and I could not bring myself to go and see.  When I did finally get the nerve to go, I was very saddened at the sight, like seeing that aged rock star at the Super Bowl halftime show.  I don’t know how you can tear up a waterfall, but that is what happened.  I left with the feeling that another piece of my childhood will never be seen again.

If you like this photo, you may see others here.