Waterfalls and White Squirrels Weekend October 7 thru October 10

This overnight outing offers multiple waterfalls as well as white squirrel photo opportunities in the Brevard, NC and extended areas.
It is CRITICAL that you make accommodation reservations for your stay ASAP as this is the start of Fall color season.

We are going to group waterfalls with suggest paths to follow. These will be only suggestions so that you can go to the falls that you wish. We highly recommend Kevin Adams’ book North Carolina Waterfalls 3rd Edition. Available from Kevin’s website: https://kevin-adams-photography.myshopify.com
Here are some preliminary paths for the weekend:
FRIDAY
Welcome gathering/dinner
Location: TBD

SATURDAY AM
Waterfall groups heading up Route 276 to the Blue Ridge Parkway:
• Looking Glass Falls
• Moore Cove Falls
• Log Hollow Falls

SATURDAY PM
Waterfall groups in Dupont State Park:
• High Falls
• Triple Falls
• Hooker Falls is across the road from High Falls and Triple Falls.
o Both are a bit of a hike.

SUNDAY ALL DAY
Waterfall groups heading west from Brevard:
• Whitewater Falls – Cashiers, NC
o Highest waterfall east of the Rockies, offering 2 overlooks
• Dry Falls
o Picturesque cascade with a path under the rocks that offers a unique, reverse view of the waterfall.
• Mill Shoals and French Broad Falls Living Waters, Balsam Grove, NC
o Both falls are behind the Living Waters Retreat and just a stones throw apart. There’s an old mill structure at the base of Mill Shoals.
There are smaller but pretty falls downstream of these two – easily walkable down the streamside trail. Cathedral Falls (Formerly Bird Rock) is also a short drive away.
o Another waterfall on Route 215 is Sunburst Falls.

Dinner and Full Moon spots – TBD

MONDAY AM
White Squirrels locations Check out:
White Squirrel Institute for sightings: https://whitesquirrelinstitute.org
• Brevard College – One Brevard College Drive, Brevard, NC 28712
• Silvermont Park
o An 8-acre, downtown county park anchored by Silvermont Mansion, a 33-room Colonial Revival mansion built in the early 1900s
• Franklin Park 109 Lakeview Ave. Brevard, NC

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

Elk

Photographing the Elk Rut In Cataloochee Valley

Trip Description:
We’re heading to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains to photograph the elk herd during their fall breeding season (the rut)!
Our trip is officially scheduled for Wednesday October 5th and Thursday October 6th, but this is a very easy trip to extend an extra day on either side if participants so choose. The elk herd are most active and visible during the early morning and late evening; during the day they head into the forest to rest and are nearly impossible to see. We’ll meet on Wednesday evening for a sunset session, and then again first thing in the morning on Thursday for a sunrise session, giving us two great opportunities to see the elk’s breeding behavior and hear their bugle!
This is a “car based” trip. There is no hiking or strenuous activity involved. We’ll drive into the valley (carpooling as we need to in order to cut down on cars) and from there, we cruise the valley road along several large fields where the elk congregate. As with any wildlife trip, we are at the mercy of wild animals, and our exact locations will be dictated by if and where the animals choose to appear. That being said, this herd is quite adapted to people being around and I’ve never been through the valley without seeing any elk.
Google Maps location of the valley:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cataloochee,+NC+28785/@35.6401171,-83.0888989,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x88596352a1251c91:0x3904b22768dd92bf!8m2!3d35.6401005!4d-83.0801441
We’ll be driving up and down the Cataloochee Entrance Rd from just past the campground back to around the Hiram Caldwell House. There are several large fields along that stretch and we simply cruise the roads until we find the herd. Then we stop and photograph the herd!

Food and Lodging:
If you’ve never been to the Cataloochee Valley before, it is quite remote and therefore will require some driving. The road into the valley is a 10-mile dirt and gravel forest service road so it requires slow travel. A 4-wheel drive is not necessary. The road is well maintained, but be aware, it is dirt and doesn’t have guardrails for most of the drive.
The nearest hotel I’ve stayed at is The Clarion Hotel & Conference Center (40 min). The prices are very reasonable and it has been a perfectly sufficient stopover for this trip in the past. (~$100 per night)
https://www.choicehotels.com/north-carolina/maggie-valley/clarion-hotels/nc055/rates?adults=2&checkInDate=2022-08-21&checkOutDate=2022-08-23&ratePlanCode=SAPR2M
If you prefer tent camping, the Cataloochee Campground does still have some availability, but I would suggest reserving as soon as possible, as this is a popular time of year because of the rut. The park service campground is BY FAR the closest option as it is actually in the valley itself (5 min).
https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cataloochee-campground.htm
There are also several RV parks along Jonathan Creek Rd (the main road between the town of Maggie Valley and the valley itself). I have tent camped at Pride Resort (35 min) and found it perfectly fine!
Food is, truthfully, a bit of a challenge for this trip simply because we’ll be out in the valley so late and so early. Waynesville and Maggie Valley are the closest towns and most things close quite early. There is the normal suite of fast-food restaurants (Wendy’s, KFC, Zaxby’s, McDonalds, etc.) in Waynesville less than 10 minutes away from the Clarion Hotel. We can decide as a group on Thursday morning after our sunrise session if we’d all like to meet up and get breakfast on the way out or if everyone would like to do their own thing.

Recommended Gear:
Minimum 70-200mm lens
Recommended 400mm+, 600mm is ideal
– You can rent theses lenses (which is what I do every year) from Bigg’s Camera in Charlotte, or from https://www.lensrentals.com/
Multiple camera bodies if you have them (easier than switching lenses and missing opportunities)
Tripod, with a gimbal or ball head if you have it
On camera microphones if you like video
Polarizer filter for cutting reflected light
Snacks and water for the car

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

Exploring B. Everett Jordan Lake Dam and Jordan Lake State Recreational Area

– Starting out at the B. Everett Jordan Lake Dam [also known as the US Army Corps of Engineers Visitors Center], we will look for Bald Eagles, Osprey and Great Blue Herons. Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is the site of the largest concentration of bald eagles on the East Coast.
– Upon leaving the Dam, we will head towards Apex and explore other key views of the Lake so that you can plan for future visits for sunsets, moon rises, cloud formations and other landscape possibilities.
– Once you register, we will send additional information closer to the outing about stops along Jordan Lake with maps and directions.

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

JC Raulston Arboretum and Lunch

Come join us at the JC Raulston Arboretum followed by lunch at Neomode
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, NC 27606

Set up your camera and revel in nature’s beauty in this 10-acre garden wonderland. This outdoor laboratory for the Department of Horticulture at North Carolina State University is a delight. Sit in the shade of trees from over 50 different countries, wander down the 450-foot long mosaic of the Perennial Garden, or relax and shoot in the Reading Garden. The Victorian gazebo in the Klein-Pringle White Garden is a popular choice for local brides and the Japanese and Paradise gardens are must-sees.

Followed by lunch at Neomode Mediterranean Raleigh
3817 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

Metal Print Tour at Vivid Metal

You are cordially invited to join us at our facility for a tour and an educational discussion about best practices for turning your photography into stunning metal prints.
When: Tuesday, August 23, 2022 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Where: Vivid Metal Prints 105 Rogers Rd. Lexington, NC 27292
Light refreshments will be provided.
PLEASE RSVP TO marcymurphy007@gmail.com to hold your place Thank you!

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

North Carolina Arboretum

We will meet at the entrance, photograph our hearts out, and then connect at the on-site bistro; Bent Creek at 12:00pm for lunch. If 8:00am is too early, no worries, just come when you can. The only fee is for parking, and that is $16.00 per car. Car-pooling may be a good way to go. At least to pile in one to two cars not far from the entrance, and go in. Let me know directly if you are interested. marcymurphy007@gmail.com. See below for discounts offered.

Discounts

AAA Members receive $1 off personal vehicle parking fees (valid cards must be presented at the gate).
AHS Reciprocal Garden Members receive free parking for personal vehicles (valid cards must be presented at the gate).
Check out a Buncombe County Library ZOOM Pass or Henderson County Library ZOOM Pass to receive free parking to the Arboretum (reservations required).
Active/retired veterans receive free parking on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
I hope to see you there!

Homepage

Nestled in one of the most botanically diverse and beautiful natural settings in America, The North Carolina Arboretum contains 65 acres of cultivated gardens that delight the senses, pay tribute to the region’s rich cultural heritage and reinforce the importance of plants to our world. Strolling through the Arboretum’s gardens is a perfect way to reconnect with nature in a peaceful setting. Visit the information desk at the Baker Exhibit Center upon your arrival to learn more about the beauty and history that awaits. Visitors from across the world enjoy exploring the Arboretum’s exhibits and gardens, including one of the finest, most unique bonsai collections in the United States.

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

Mooresville Arts Photograph Exhibit Viewing

Join us at Mooresville Arts in downtown Mooresville to view and discuss the current photographic exhibit. We will meet at 10:30am, and then head to Alinos for lunch at noon. RSVP to marcymurphy007@gmail.com
I hope to see you there.

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

Waccamaw River Boat Osprey Outing

Photographer’s outing on the Waccamaw River to photography the Osprey, nesting, feeding and babies. Limited to 15 CNPA members. Must contact Coordinator to reserve your spot. Cost is $30.00 per person CASH, payable day of event to Waccamaw River Tours. Please also consider a cash tip for Captain Rick. Directions on website… pay attention to revised directions due to road closings. Waccamawrivertours.com

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

Milky Way Shoot

Blue Ridge Parkway
Doughton Park
Friday Night, June 24, 2022
The weather didn’t cooperate with us last year, so let’s try it agin this year. Sunset is 8:46 pm so the Milky Way should be visible starting about 10:30. We’ll meet at the Doughton Park Picnic Area about 8:00. We’ll choose shooting locations (foregrounds) and have a chance for a nice sunset shot or two. The images below were shot at different locations within Doughton Park.
If you are new to night sky photography, here is a link to a tutorial that will help prepare you. (How to Photograph the Milky Way – Lonely Speck) We will also have some veterans on hand to help you get started.
Equipment Checklist
DSLR or Mirrorless camera
Wide-angle lens (the faster the better)
Tripod
Remote shutter release (self timer works too)
Headlamp/flashlight (preferably red light or very low white light)
Dew heater-optional (handwarmer & rubber bands works just fine)
Please RSVP to Cashwell8886@gmail.com by Thursday night (6/23) so he knows who to expect in case of change or weather cancelation. If you are looking to carpool, either needing a ride or willing to provide a ride, please send a note to Don Brown (debrown@msn.com) and he will coordinate.

Chris Cashwell
704-957-5437

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

Milky Way Doughton Park

Rescheduled from June 24th due to weather conditions.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Doughton Park
Friday Night, June 23, 2022
The weather didn’t cooperate with us last year, so let’s try it agin this year. Sunset is 8:46 pm so the Milky Way should be visible starting about 10:30. We’ll meet at the Doughton Park Picnic Area about 8:00. We’ll choose shooting locations (foregrounds) and have a chance for a nice sunset shot or two. The images below were shot at different locations within Doughton Park.
If you are new to night sky photography, here is a link to a tutorial that will help prepare you. (How to Photograph the Milky Way – Lonely Speck) We will also have some veterans on hand to help you get started.
Equipment Checklist
DSLR or Mirrorless camera
Wide-angle lens (the faster the better)
Tripod
Remote shutter release (self timer works too)
Headlamp/flashlight (preferably red light or very low white light)
Dew heater-optional (handwarmer & rubber bands works just fine)
Please RSVP to Cashwell8886@gmail.com by Thursday night (6/23) so he knows who to expect in case of change or weather cancelation. If you are looking to carpool, either needing a ride or willing to provide a ride, please send a note to Don Brown (debrown@msn.com) and he will coordinate.

Chris Cashwell
704-957-5437

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.

For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.