Awesome Waterfalls…Just Look For Bears!

The remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine dropped several inches of rainfall across the Ozarks. Not only did it end drought conditions but it kicked started the waterfalls again (at least for a few days) during a time of the year when the waterfalls run dry.

 If you are a regular reader of the weather blog, you have certainly seen some posts from our storm chaser Brian Emfinger. Not only is Brian’s expertise and experience a huge help to our team and viewers during severe weather season, but he is always exploring and photographing the great outdoors at other times of the year. A week ago Brian posted an entry about his experience observing Hurricane Earl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Since then the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine found him right here in Arkansas. He was able to take advantage and discover several waterfalls in the Ozark National Forest that until now have never been seen or recorded. My family and I met with Brian in the early evening last Friday. The waterfall below was one that he had discovered hours earlier in the day. The top of the falls has a very scenic overlook.

The photographs below are from a bluff and waterfall that Brian discovered back in July named Bingham Hollow Falls. The 51 foot waterfall will be featured in a new Arkansas waterfall guide book by Tim Ernst next year. Tim has already made 3 trips to the falls to photograph and document it. This waterfall is one of the most scenic that I have seen in the Ozarks.

After spending a while at the waterfall the sun began to set on the horizon and we hiked back to the top of the bluff. We hiked to the top of the waterfall in order to get a few photographs looking down at the falls. Before that could happen, Brian spotted a black bear approaching us. The bear was thirsty and was hoping to catch a drink at the top of the waterfall and didn’t hear us. The bear seemed to be just as surprised to see us as we were to see him. After all, before a couple of months ago its unlikely that anybody ever hiked in that small part of the forest. It seems the bears discovered the oversized drinking fountain well before humans ever did. It wasn’t long after the bear saw us that he started to run off in the forest. Brian snapped the photograph below before he was completely out of sight.

There has been an increased number of bear sightings from late spring through the summer months. Perhaps, the weather has had something to do with it or the bear population is just much higher than what it used to be. Regardless, when you are out and about keep your eyes peeled you never know what you may run into, or what may run into you!

Ross Ellet

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