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Contact me for information on purchasing photos presented on this site or to purchase online standard prints sizes on canvas or photo paper visit www.KoralMartin.com . These are printed in-house by Koral. Custom Prints are also available on Canvas, Paper, Metal, Tile, Glass and more.

Landscapes

Elegant Egrets! – Reelfoot Lake

Elegant Egrets! –Our family, when I was growing up, spent many a vacation at Dyersburg Tn visiting relatives. Upon occasion we would go up to Reelfoot Lake while there. I have such fond memories of those visits and the beauty there. It was a lake formed when the region subsided during the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes. The earthquakes resulted in several major changes in the landforms over a widespread area, with shocks being felt as far away as Quebec, Canada. The lake covered an area that had cypress trees. These trees are still in the lake. Some in the area are over 500 years old. WOW. We had the opportunity a few weeks ago to camp at Reelfoot Lake. It is still as beautiful as I remembered. Between the birds, the water, and the cypress trees, I was in a photographers haven.  The egrets were everywhere along with herons and cormorants.  They line the banks and were also found out in the middle of the lake up in trees.  We went out on the lake both on a pontoon boat with a guide and on a canoe and were able to both follow along the banks and go out into the main lake were lone cypress trees stood full of the various birds. The cypress trees with just a touch of color made for a beautiful backdrop for these Elegant Egrets…

Elegant Egret Amongst Cypress

Elegant Egrets Cypress Trees Reelfoot Lake

Elegant Egrets Cypress Trees Reelfoot Lake

Fantastic Formations

I discovered this past week a new exciting place to hike and photograph – Jackson Falls –  just wishing it were closer.

Jackson Falls Trail - Rock Formation by Koral Martin

Jackson Falls Trail – Rock Formation

I visited the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois on my way to visit family in Kentucky. It is about 45 minutes north of Paducah. I don’t think I had ever been there before, which is surprising, as growing up we hit so many of the scenic areas in that region. But if we did, I have no memory.

One of my favorite places to go when in Kentucky is the Red River Gorge and this area reminded me of it. The rock formations were phenomenal but what drew me there initially was the promise of some waterfalls. Thought with the hurricane rains having been in that area they would be beautiful. Unfortunately they were dry. I started out at Burden Falls. Little did I know the falls was not far from the parking lot but in talking to some people there, they led me to believe it was down the path, so on I hiked. After hours of hiking along the creek and ridge I finally found my way to the base of the dry waterfall which was only after I decided to head back to the parking lot. It would have been beautiful if there was water but oh well. The creek bed was nice and the rock formations were interesting so I still enjoyed but was time to move on.

Jackson Falls Rock Formation

Sun Dappled Rock, Jackson Falls, Shawnee Ntl Forest

Rock Formation Jackson Falls Trail

Rock Formation Jackson Falls Trail

Rock Formation Jackson Falls Trail

Rock Formation Jackson Falls Trail

 I decided it was time to find a place to camp and was told by some folks along that trail that Jackson Falls people sometimes camped at. It was the place that had originally peaked my interest when I was researching a place to hike in the area, so off I went to check it out. I was only about 15 minutes away.

When I arrived there were probably 30 or 40 tents and another 20 hammocks set up along the trail, road and jeep paths in the area. I was surprised there was so many as this falls was dry too. After talking to some campers there, I found there was a way to get down to the valley below the dry falls, so I decided to check it out before it got dark. I found a place to set up camp and took off.

There was a 4 mile loop you could hike but if you knew the right spot there was a place you could scramble down some steep boulders and hike in this canyon. I ventured forth and after watching some people on the steep boulders I decided it was something I could tackle and I headed down. I discovered this gorgeous valley with fascinating rock formations and towering canyon walls. This area is also a rock climbers haven. There were well over 100 climbers there enjoying those canyon walls. That evening I did just a short hike as I didn’t want to get caught in the dark climbing up those rocks back to the trail. The climbers were still climbing and it was so fun to watch them. I was able to make it back out fine and joined some climbers on the way back to where I was camping. One of the climbers was from South Africa. How fun. They invited me to join them at their campfire that evening. Sounded like fun and I thought maybe I would. I returned to my site and ate the meager dinner I had packed just in case – tuna and strawberries with a power bar for desert. After sitting for awhile I didn’t have the energy to visit the climbers so I just sat and read, enjoyed the nature around me. I got eventually got too cold and headed on to bed.

The next morning I got up early as it began to get light and beat the climbers out. I headed back down to the canyon taking a different path from the night before. For a while I enjoyed the canyon in solitude. It was so peaceful and just what I needed. As I hiked they slowly trickled in and started climbing. The first was the group that included a climber from South Africa that I had met the night before. I enjoyed getting to watch them climb and then I hiked on for a few hours having fun photographing the rock formations and walls. I could have stayed there all day but was needing to head on to Lexington BUT I will return!! I never made it to the Garden of the Gods there which I hear is spectacular – maybe this fall…..

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Colorado Mountains – Take Me Away

Dirt Road to Colorado Mountains in Open Space near Westminster Colorado

Colorado Mountains – Take Me Away

I love going through my photos after a trip. This one that I just looked at today is special and speaks to me and says Take Me Away ! It is sort of like that old commercial – Calgon take me away but this time its “Colorado Mountains – Take Me Away” – LOL. There are certain photos that just speak to me and this is one of them. Our life is a journey and I can tell that this journey, down this path before me, if I chose to take it, will lead to something great…. I hope that this will speak to you like it speaks to me, that it can take you out of the troubles of the moment, and take you to a special place!
Think I’m going to have to print this big. Can you imagine it as a huge mural on a wall, big you would even be able to really see the snow peaked mountains nestled in the distance…. Wow. Hmmmmm

 

Dogs on Dirt Road to Colorado Mountains in Open Space near Westminster Colorado

Pups Path….

Fun memories for sure – the pups were eagerly traversing their path and were loving every second of it – oh to have that carefree spirit no matter the storms brewing around us….

 

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Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle Falls, Colorado

Rifle Falls, Colorado

We enjoyed camping this past fall in the Rifle area in Colorado  We camped at Rifle State Park but we enjoyed a trek up to Rifle Falls State park – home of an 80ft tall Triple Falls. We arrived in the evening and got beautiful light. There were several limestone caves in the area we enjoyed exploring also.  We were able to go behind the falls even up towards the top.

Rifle Falls, Colorado

Rifle Falls, Colorado

Golden Rule

Old Schoolhouse, Fall Aspen and Mountains Photograph

As I mentioned in another post, we love driving the Last Dollar Road near Telluride.  This was another phenomenal view we found while traversing along it and its side roads.  There was this old unique schoolhouse that we passed and I wanted to stop and photograph it but unfortunately there were several people around so we decided to bypass it with hopes of returning later.  On down the road, I looked back and there it was, the perfect shot!  The old schoolhouse with its outbuildings, golden aspen, snow peaked mountains and cool clouds.  I was so glad that we had traveled on down the road!  Definitely a top favorite!  I didn’t want to leave this spot. 

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Glow before the Storm, Last Dollar Road

Aspen Before Storm on Last Dollar Road Telluride Colroado Area

Glow Before Storm on Last Dollar Road Telluride Colroado Area

When in the Telluride area, we love driving the Last Dollar Road – well parts of it….  There are parts that are narrow and very nerve racking so we don’t always drive the whole way thru the pass.  Last Dollar Road takes you winding amongst beautiful aspen groves and then it will open up into beautiful prairie type fields and then around the next bend you will see the gorgeous San Juan Mountains.  I could spend days, weeks, yes months exploring the beauty along this road.  We were on the Telluride side and storms were moving in so we had decided that we did not need to spend much time on this road as it and rain are not a good combination so we decided to just travel just a short ways on it and some adjoining roads and not venture far from the paved roads. Sure enough the storms started getting closer and as we were driving, I turned and looked back in the direction we had come from and there was this beautiful little grove of aspen with the sun shining on them and the dark black storm clouds moving in closely behind them.  By the time I got my camera and tripod out and setup for the shot the clouds were just about upon the aspen and I barely got a few shots off before the trees were over taken by darkness.  I just barely made it back to the care with the clouds let loose.  We were certainly glad that we didn’t have far to go to get off the narrow pot hole ridden roads.

Contact me for information on purchasing this photo or purchase standard prints sizes at koralmartin.com  Available on Canvas, Paper, Metal, Tile, Glass and more.

Mining Days Memories at Trout Lake

Trout Lake Water Tank, Colorado

Trout Lake Water Tank, Colorado

 

It was a dark and cloudy day, one of those days where it might storm one minute and the sun come out the next. We were apprehensive about hiking with potential storms upon us so we took off on a drive south of Telluride Colorado. There are some nice mining areas in that direction. We spent a good bit of time at the Alta Lakes area and then we headed to Trout Lake. The lake is natural but is was damned to serve as a reservoir for the Ames power Plant. After enjoying the lake view for awhile, we decided to drive around back behind it and we ran into some real treasures. First we discovered an old water tank. It is a 50,000 gallon tank. The red paint was peeling off and the tank was nestled in the golden aspens and in the backdrop were cloud covered snow peaked mountains. What a spectacular view of this old Rio Grand Southern Railroad artifact – one of the most well preserved.

Trout Lake Trestle, Colorado

Trout Lake Trestle, Colorado

 

We traveled on along the road and we discovered Trout Lake Trestle, another fabulous artifact of mining days gone by. The beautiful fall vegetation, the towering green pines up again the thunderous clouds and the rich golden aspen made a spectacular view. One of my favorites from this fall trip to Colorado.

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