Survive and Flourish, Avery County, NC - 2015
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
I went to see a waterfall.
I wrote about my trip to Crabtree Falls in last Friday's post, but I left out an important detail. As beautiful as that fall was, I found I was even more fascinated by a tree.
At the base of the fall, about 10-12 yards down stream, a tree about 40' tall was growing on top of a boulder. Somehow over the years it had not only survived, but flourished on its seemingly precarious perch. Decades ago, a seed had found a bit of soil in a crack in this boulder, and it sprouted and began to grow. It was able to hang on during countless rain-swelled torrents, while its roots were somehow able to find support and nutrients clinging to its rocky home atop the boulder. It's a survival story to match any in the forest.
As I scrambled among the rocks at the base of the fall, looking for different angles for my photos, I found myself becoming more interested in this tree than the fall. Soon I was relegating the fall to the role of being merely a backdrop for the tree. Because of how the tree was positioned in front of the fall, many photographers have probably thought of it as being in the way. Some may have wished it was gone. To me, however, it became the star of the show.