Secret Vistas

Secret Vistas: Cloudland Canyon State Park

Glynn Wilson For a sneak preview of a work in progress, hit this: Secret Vistas: The Waterfalls of Cloudland Canyon State Park Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains on the western edge of Lookout Mountain in the northwest corner of Georgia, just across the Alabama and Tennessee lines near the town of Rising Fawn, there is…

Tear Down Some Dams, Let the River of Information Flow

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” – Benjamin Franklin “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” – Paul Newman as Luke, in Cool Hand Luke “Keep close to Nature’s heart … and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”…

Secret Vistas: The Fish Are Still Jumping in Fish River

But Don’t Expose Yourself to the Air and Water on the Gulf Coast Glynn Wilson by Glynn Wilson FISH RIVER – On the way north from the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, I just had to risk a little river exploration to get the canoe wet and try out a new kayak paddle. It was fun,…

Secret Vistas: Dauphin Island Audubon Bird Sanctuary

Plus Indian Shell Mound Park Glynn Wilson A brown pelican heading home to Gaillard Island in Mobile Bay for the night, taken from the beach in the Dauphin Island Audubon Bird Sanctuary, with a gas rig in the background. That’s Sand Island Lighthouse too. [Click on the image for a larger view] by Glynn Wilson…

Secret Vistas: Kolomoki Mounds State Park

Glynn Wilson After we checked out of Falling Waters Thursday morning, we skirted over the Georgia line to Kolomoki Mounds State Park for the night, totally off the grid. No cell phone service or Internet. There’s more to talk about here and more photos to search through before selecting the final cut for the slide…

Unseen Shortcuts Across the South

Google Map iPhone Routes Can Surprise Secret Vistas by Glynn Wilson OXFORD, Ala. — Some folks say God works in mysterious ways. I say life and technology work in mysterious ways, and if you are any kind of an artist at all, you never know where you will find the muse. I also say change…

Secret Vistas: Palisades Park Atop Ebell Mountain

Glynn Wilson Palisades Park atop Ebell Mountain offers some of the more scenic views of the Southern Appalachian foothills in Middle Alabamaland and makes for an easy day trip from Birmingham. But don’t tell anyone. They call it Blount County’s “best kept secret.” The Appalachian Mountain range stretches from Maine to north central Alabama. According…

Wind Creek State Park On Lake Martin

Glynn Wilson One more feature photo from our early fall camping trip to Wind Creek State Park on Lake Martin near Alexander City, Alabama. The fall foliage is just beginning to show a hint of autumn color. More to come in the days ahead. [Click on the image for a larger view]

Secret Vistas: Chasing Autumn Color…

Glynn Wilson Chasing autumn color is a significant event in many climes, but for nature photographers in the Southeastern U.S., it can become a game or even an obsession. Can you find the bluebird in this picture? [Click on the image for a larger view]. These photo ops only come around once a year, and…

Secret Vistas: Somewhere On Lake Martin…

Glynn Wilson Somewhere on Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama, on an early fall afternoon. Caught sight of a hawk this morning, not sure what kind, plus a couple of great blue herons in the afternoon. Also got a good look at a fine specimen of the Alabama State Bird, a yellow-shafted flicker, a.k.a. the…

Secret Vistas: First Fall Camping Scene '09

Glynn Wilson Not expecting autumn color yet, but found a bit by the water. Can’t reveal where I’m camping yet until it’s time to leave, but perhaps some of you can guess. More info and images on Friday afternoon. Filing from a free McDonald’s WiFi Hotspot. Click on the image for a larger view…

Secret Vistas: A Swampy Canoe Trail

Glynn Wilson After escaping the yellow fly outbreak on Pleasure Island, we headed north to the edge of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, to Rice Landing, one of the entrances to the Bartram Canoe Trail. The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is the nation’s second largest river delta, encompassing a 10 mile-wide marsh, cypress-tupelo swamp and bottomland hardwood ecosystem that…

Fir Trees in the Clouds at Newfound Gap

Glynn Wilson Looking back at the photos from our 12 day camping trip to East Tennessee, I couldn’t help but be struck by this one of the fir trees high in the Great Smoky Mountains all surrounded by the clouds at Newfound Gap, 5,046 feet in elevation.

Secret Vistas: The Great Smoky Mountains

National Park Celebrates 75th Anniversary Glynn Wilson A rock tunnel beckons as you enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park… by Glynn Wilson GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS — When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stood at Newfound Gap with one foot in North Carolina and the other in Tennessee on Sept. 2, 1940 at the official opening…

Secret Vistas: Wild Turkeys in Cades Cove

Glynn Wilson CADES COVE, Tenn. — We managed to sneak up on a couple of wild turkeys foraging in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains. We’re just now back in range of the Internet after a couple of nights of primitive camping totally off the grid and even out of cell phone range. It…

Secret Vistas: Fall Creek Falls

Glynn Wilson FALL CREEK FALLS, Tenn. — After editing the coal ash video and story, we headed up into the mountains and camped for a couple of nights at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Fall Creek Falls, (above) at 256 feet, is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Lovely spot with almost no one…

The Battle of Chattanooga

by Glynn Wilson Glynn Wilson Holiday Trav-L-Park of Chattanooga CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Feb. 26 — The cardinals are singing their morning song as the sun tries to break through the clouds on this spot where the 84th Indiana Infantry camped in the fall of 1863 before the Battle of Chickamauga. Chattanooga was a vital rail hub…