I didn’t intend to check the fences on the steep side of our property this evening. I say the ‘steep side’ as if there is only one. Ha. No. Most of the sides on our square-shaped 160 acres are steep. At the very least none of it is level.
Anyway, the plan was to feed the horses their afternoon rations. Which I did, with muck boots on because it’s mucky down there after all that rain.
But then my eyes wandered up toward the fence line and I could see the little trail of hoof prints going up that way, too. Might be a good time to check the fences. Especially if the horses have also been checking them.
And then my ears caught the sound of the creek flowing strongly, tumbling over the rocks. And I knew farther up, along the same path more or less, that there would be a waterfall flowing even more strongly.
And that’s how it started. iPhone in my pocket, muck boots on my feet, and the lure of a waterfall seldom seen. If it’s so beautiful as to have that sort of attraction, you might wonder why it is so seldom seen. Because it’s hard to reach. Unlike the little one on the driveway that delights and satisfies most waterfall cravings, this one requires a bit of dedication to fully see.
So I went.
Ordinarily when I’m going off on a jaunt like this, I’ll leave a note on the kitchen table to indicate which direction I wandered off in. In case I somehow don’t wander back on schedule. It would be rather difficult to guess where I’d gone without some sort of clue. But this wasn’t a planned walkabout. It was spontaneous. And those are so often the best kind.
Did I mention that it has been raining a lot lately and the ground is soggy? Soggy ground on steep hillsides in the woods gets slippery. So on one of my near-ground inspections, I saw a really large pair of snails. Here’s one of them.
Interesting info about snails
One of my FB friends has shared some very interesting information about the mating habits of snails over on my page. Here’s a link if you want to read about it. It’s pretty mind-boggling!
I made my way up the creek, more intent on reaching the waterfalls than actually checking fences at this point. But I couldn’t say my purpose was to check the fences along the way if I didn’t bother moving the branches off of it, now could I?
This particular waterfall lives in a very narrow holler with steep walls on either side. Unless it’s almost dry, it’s hard to get very close to the part of it that I consider to be most beautiful- the long slide where the water gently ripples over it during low water spells. After a recent rain, the water spills down it, splashing all of the boulders and rocks down below so that they get very slippery.
In the holler
But I got close enough to enjoy it. The noise was deafening. Water spray in the air felt refreshing. And the scent of damp earth and humus beneath my feet capped it off. I took some video and photos with the phone, since I didn’t bring the real camera because it wasn’t a planned event.
Light was fading and I needed to get back to the house. At the last close-to-ground inspection where I slid underneath the fence, I decided to stay on that side of the fence and make my way back to the gate that way.
Just about within sight of the gate, I felt my pocket for my phone. Of course it wasn’t there. After a deep sigh, and a few choice words for myself for not noticing when it fell, I backtracked to the last encounter with the ground. Thankfully that’s where it was. Because any further back might have meant it was a lost cause in the steepest parts toward the creek.
My pedometer on the phone said I hiked about a mile and climbed 17 floors. I think it missed a few floors during the time it lay on the ground reveling in the scent of humus and damp earth.
It’s the first hike I’ve made in a while that didn’t involve picking up rocks. Maybe I knew intuitively that I wouldn’t want to try to hold on to them as I slipped and slid my way up and down the hills. But it was a great little hike. I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of our seldom seen but much loved waterfall.
Madison Woods is an author, artist, and Paleo Paint maker living
with her husband in northwest Arkansas far off the beaten path. She uses Ozark pigments to create her paintings.
Email: [email protected]