Encounters (Beaver Creek Wilderness III)

There is more to a landscape – or a life – than the sum of its pieces. So maybe acceptance is not the only way to relate.

More and more it occurs to me that what really matters is our involvement with the place, or the person. And hence, what I am talking about here is not the place, but my encounters with it.

Each picture not only tells the story of such an encounter, but in turn offers the viewer an opportunity for other encounters.

I am not suggesting that there is meaning here, merely an attempt of mutual understanding.

By capturing these moments of dialogue, do we try to capture time itself, be it in its vague state of chaotic flow,

be it in the solid state of a rock face hourglass?

Acceptance (Beaver Creek Wilderness II)

Entering Beaver Creek Wilderness from the Three Forks of Beaver Trailhead has the advantage that you get a view of the area before descending into the gloomy valley.

Signs are rare, trail markings sparse, and the trail itself often unrecognizable. The very humid landscape is subject to continuous transformation due to intense growth and decay, so I was initially grateful to be able to hang on to the rocks.

How does one esthetically tame a feral landscape like this? Instead of imposing structure, one approach is to embrace the wild complexity, and let it overwhelm.

Once you reach the valley bottom, you can follow Middle Ridge Trail along Beaver Creek upstream or downstream; the former offers better campsites (I think).

Hiking downstream has more rock formations, if you desire so.

Then, strangely, a rather wide wooden bridge: For what traffic?

After a while one gets used to the constant slipping in mud, tripping over roots, and breaking off rotten wood when attempting to prevent a fall.

One begins to look away from the rocks and to accept that the transformative power of this place, water, offers reflection, too.

Is this it? Why, is this not enough?

Falling (Beaver Creek Wilderness I)

The abundance of Magnolia macrophylla was one of the my favorite attractions in Kentucky’s Beaver Creek Wilderness.

At this time of the year, the giant fallen leaves become an essential part of the ground cover.

Even the Beaver Creek itself is not safe, the unfallen leaves appear as reflections.

Many get stuck among their smaller friends in the process of falling,

or decide to go the last steps of decay just a few inches above ground.