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