ELEPHANT ROCK

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Elephant rock was one of our stops on our third day of the road trip my dad and I went on. It was about an hour before we reached the high point of Missouri.  It was a really unique piece of landscape and reminded me a lot of places out west where theres a lot of bare rock and gigantic land forms. We began our hike in a forest, but it slowly wrapped around this big mass of rock that stuck out above the surface of the forest.  There were really cool views from up there and some sweet rock formations to climb around.  It was a fun place to do some interesting photography.  In some shots, because all you see are rocks, it is hard to even tell the scale of them or how large they were.  Hopefully with the one with my dad jumping across a gap between the rocks you can get a better scale of how big these giant rocks were. It was about midday and very sunny when we were shooting giving very harsh like, but as long as you shot with the sun, this brought out a lot of great, sharp texture from the rocks.  It also brought out some very vibrant colors both in the rock and with the nice clear sky, I was able to pull out some very deep blues. With these vibrant colors and harsh light and interesting rock, I took some time capturing some of the unique textures and colors found on the different rocks as you can see on some of these bottom shots. It was a really cool stop and just reminded me of the beauty of the earth.  I still dont really understand how or why these random, elephant sized rocks were just hanging out in this forest, but they were certainly a pleasant sight! 

 

 

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These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8.

 

 

-ZAM

 

 

TAUM SAUK MOUNTAIN, MISSOURI (HIGH POINT #31)

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Another guest post from my Dad:

After a very foggy Easter Sunday morning, the sun came out in the afternoon, and we had a very pleasant day of hiking.  Our first stop was Elephant Rocks State Park.  Those were very interesting and fun to climb around, but not the subject of this post.  From Elephant Rocks, we went to Taum Sauk Mountain, the high point in the state of Missouri.  Located in the St. Francois section of the Ozarks, Taum Sauk reaches 1,772 feet above sea level.  The trail from the parking lot is a very easy concrete trail, barely gaining any elevation.  In fact, out of the 32 high points I have now visited, Taum Sauk would have to be the flattest one of all.  So, we felt a more difficult hike was in order, and proceeded to take the three-mile loop to Mina Sauk Falls.  In places, the trail was quite rocky, and almost everywhere it was very wet from yesterday’s rain, not to mention poorly marked.  Along the way, however, we were treated to some beautiful Ozark vistas.  The waterfall was a nice reward for the hiking, and we could climb a lot of the rocks real close to the main drop.  Altogether, the falls has a drop of 132 feet, and was well worth the trip.  We were amazed at the clarity of the water!  On the way back, we were treated to a couple of herpetological treats- First, we saw a number of lizards sunning themselves in the late March sunshine.  I was surprised to see them at this latitude, altitude, and time of year, and they had a beautiful blue underside!  Secondly, back near the almost-level “summit” the spring peeper frogs were almost deafening in their jubilant song in a very shallow swampy area.  It was our third state high point in as many days!

Taum Sauk-05These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8.

 

-ZAM

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