Beyond Minerals and Gems - Part 2

by Julie Yamamoto

Another hike I recently took was to Duke's Creek Falls in North Georgia. This was a one mile hike down to the falls that descends more than 400 feet down to the falls. The trail descended under a canopy of majestic tall trees, many of which were growing on top of sheer rock and boulders, with their large roots all twined around. It was truly amazing! Between the shade of the forest and the rushing falls below, the hike was fairly cool. And, in fact, at the base of the falls, it was cooler than being in air-conditioning.

Again I was fascinated by the many treasures the forest had to offer and took numerous photographs. Rocks and stones were everywhere in this forest, and I was especially intrigued by the many colors of the stones and the stones covered with mosses. As part of my excursion to these falls, I also took the time to contemplate the falls and the bloom of the present moment and came up with these words. I cannot begin to express how peaceful it was sitting next to those falls underneath a dappled forest that did indeed seem almost like a dream.

Hidden Jewel

Hidden jewel
Deep in the woods
Cool oasis
Of dreams

Butterflies flit
Here and there
The water shimmers
With a thousand colors

A sweet breeze
Kisses the skin
A wonderous gift
From the rushing falls

A hawk soars above
This forest of dreams
Peaceful dappled greens
Surround blue waters

Soft mosses cover rocks
Underneath majestic trees
Sunlight sparkles
On hemlocks and ferns

Time ceases
In this place
Of dreams
And heaven on earth

On the way hiking back from the falls, there was a delightful side trail to the creek itself, which was lined with moss covered stones and full of beautiful rocks to photograph, view, and well as wading in a cold mountain stream. So that was a lot of fun. Except, of course, for having to hike back up that 400-foot ascension mile with a backpack full of rocks....but at least it was good exercise!

If anyone is interested in seeing photographs from any of my hikes, just click the link below.

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