Once is not enough


Small waterfall at Lake Catherine AR

This intermittent fall, a gossamer statement of natural beauty, is for the most part ignored by viewers who are concentrating on the nearby larger falls at Lake Catherine State Park, Arkansas. Until this visit, I was guilty in not noticing it as well. It was worth the wait.

The skinny falls you see above are intermittent. They only have significant water during periods of heavy rainfall. A few days before this picture was shot, it could have been a raging torrent. Intermittent falls are like that. Years ago in the film days, I photographed some intermittent falls in the Ozarks that were in the raging torrent stage.

Lake Catherine State Park falls

See more Lake Catherine falls at Corndancer dot com

I caught these falls after visiting the close by Lake Catherine State Park falls on and off since the late sixties and finding these intermittent falls are lurking in the shadows less than 20 feet from the “main” falls.

I should have my head examined for decades of missing this picture. Other than the therapeutic advantages of re-visiting waterfalls, I suppose this discovery is another good reason one should frequent these natural wonders.

Speaking of Lake Catherine falls, may I suggest that you digress and go to the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com and see the larger falls and get in on how this whole story started. We’ll wait here.

Falls at Lake Catherine State Park

These are the "main attraction" falls at Lake Catherine State Park. The intermittent falls are just behind the foliage in the left side of this picture.

Lake Catherine falls are immensely popular with good reason. There is almost always water over the falls and unlike many falls are easily accessible. Lake Catherine State Park is minutes from I-30. Once you are at the park, a short hike is required to reach the falls. The trail is well-worn and is more like an earthen sidewalk in most places than a trail. It is suitable for all ages. I suppose this is not my last trip unless the higher power determines that it is. All the more reason to have enjoyed it.

Taking the back roads

I generally take the “back” roads when traveling. Returning to my home from Hot Springs is no exception. My back route takes me over Arkansas State Highway 190 which passes through Bookman. Bookman is a rare bird. Google can’t find it. I would not have noticed were it not for the signs.

Bookman sign

There are two Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department signs emblazoned with "Bookman" about a mile or so apart on Highway 190. The most noticeable thing between the signs is the "dark lagoon" in the foreground. (The backlit picture is a cheesy attempt by me to add some visual mystique to my contention of the possible inhabitant).

 There’s not much between the signs. When traveling west, the sign is on a bridge approach. The bridge goes over a stream I call “The Black Hole of Bookman,” whose highest use, I have determined from my visual reconnaissance, may be to serve as a residential area for the legendary “boogerman” we all feared as children. I’m serious. It’s spooky.

Home of the boogerman

Just past the bridge at Bookman, the Black Hole, which could be the home of the legendary boogerman, the ultimate villain we all feared as children.

At this point there may be some semantic conflict. In certain parts of the South, many of us were adults, or nearing adulthood when we learned that in the outside world, this ultimate apparition was known as “the bogeyman.”  Being one who more or less adheres to how I was brought up, I’m sticking with “boogerman” thank you very much.

Elvis on a fire truck

You can't make this stuff up!

The King and his fire truck

Up in northeast Arkansas on a recent trip, I ran across one of the “you can’t make this stuff up” photo opportunities. Seems Dickey Tree Service of Portia AR, uses a retired hook and ladder fire truck in the pursuit of their business. When the truck is idle, the folks at Dickey park the truck beside US Highway 63 and  put a full-sized fiberglass Elvis atop the truck cab. It does grab your attention. For the pièce de résistance they install a smaller Elvis at the top of the ladder. We will follow this story in more depth in future editions of Corndancer and Weekly Grist.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

Weekly Grist Gallery

See more pictures in our Weekly Grist gallery.

Be sure and check out our Weekly Grist Gallery for more waterfall pictures, Lake Catherine area pictures,  including a tree across the trail, and closer to home, what you might think is an approach from the veldt to the jungle, but isn’t by any stretch of the imagination.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/

http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

The “Wow!” stuff: seek and ye shall find


These falls at Lake Catherine State Park, near Hot Springs, Arkansas are about midway in a relatively easy hiking trail that loops from a camping area along the lake shore. A healthy rain the day before this shot gave the falls a bit more oomph, a plus for the "WOW!" factor.

These falls at Lake Catherine State Park, near Hot Springs, Arkansas are about midway in a relatively easy hiking trail that loops from a camping area along the lake shore. A healthy rain the day before this shot gave the falls a bit more oomph, a plus for the "WOW!" factor.

The “WOW!” stuff we encounter in our lives is analogous to life’s desserts. Sure we can live without ‘em, but why? As a dessert, these experiences are non-fattening, low cholesterol and may, as in the case of the waterfall above, offer an opportunity for a tad of exercise. We actually started this “WOW!” exploration on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot Com. To see some more pictures from “WOW!” experiences and get in on the start of the story, click here, a very cool thing to do.

Water rushes over a low water bridge on an abandoned road off Arkansas Highway 171 west of Lake Catherine State Park. When the water is not up, you would probably miss it.

Water rushes over a low water bridge on an abandoned road off Arkansas Highway 171 west of Lake Catherine State Park. When the water is not up, you would probably miss it.

Granted, you do not have to take a trip to a waterfall or other special location to experience a “WOW!”, but for the most part, you exponentially increase the odds of being WOWED, if you put yourself in position to be WOWED. This means that occasionally one must cut the umbilical to daily or even weekend routines and nose about for something new. You may not know where you are going. A discovery is even more delicious if it is uncovered due to a random act of deciding which way to turn. Sally forth in a new direction and see what can be discovered. You never know what you will see. As an example, take a gander at the road sign below:

Lick Skillet Road

Lick Skillet Road off Arkansas Highway 80 east of Waldron, Arkansas.

When I saw the sign, I, in the words of W. C. Fields, ” … was compelled … ” to turn and drive down the road. This was not the first Lick Skillet Road sign I saw, but was the most skewed, so it made the cut to be published. I encountered a friendly young man in a pickup and asked if he knew how the road got its name. He allowed as how he understood that around the turn of the 20th century, a woman operated an eatery on the road. The good ol’ boys of the time observed that the food there was so good, you wanted to lick the skillet. And thus the name.

Further investigation by Googling the term indicated that this appellation, Lick Skillet, at the time, was popular. Turns out there are a bunch of Lick Skillet places and other Lick Skillet roads promiscuously scattered around the nation. There is indeed precious little new under the sun. Sooner or later, someone will claim to be “The Original Lick Skillet.” Or perhaps that claim has already been made.

Mad Dog Road

Abandoned house on Mad Dog Hill Lane near Bluffton, Arkansas on state highway 28.

After having followed Lick Skillet Road until it terminated on Arkansas Highway 80 east of Waldron, I more or less folded the tent with the idea of beating a path back home. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an abandoned house with some Victorian trappings on the confluence of highway 80 and  “Mad Dog Hill Lane.”  In my time, I’ve known a few people, who will remain unidentified, the address of whom would appropriately contain such a street — you know who you are.

No one came forth with an explanation for the name, so I folded the tent again and headed south. Our imagination can fill in the blanks on Mad Dog Hill Lane until something better comes along.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

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