This photograph was taken just before the golden hour in the Pisgah National Forest in Brevard, North Carolina. A combination of heavy snows just weeks before, warm weather thereafter, and torrential rains contributed to an incredible amount of flooding, especially along major tributaries like the Davidson River, which is pictured here.
As we hiked along the banks of the Davidson, I was shocked to see a water line about a foot and half up on the trunks of the trees, even a hundred yards from the river. Limbs and leaves and detritus were scattered along the muddy paths, and Kemper found great pleasure in stomping in the mud and his wellingtons. In fact, the mud puddles seem to be the only redeeming factor in many of our walks which he begrudgingly accompanied us on.
The snowfall, the likes of which had not been seen in decades, knocked many large trees down, as evidenced by the fresh sawdust on the trails where the park rangers had come through earlier that week with chainsaws. It is humbling to think, despite the power that we wield, the sheer power of nature is unparalleled. Having grown up in Florida, I am accustomed to this come July through September when hurricane season is in full effect. I am sure the next time we go up, new growth will have taken the place of the grand old black pines, whose time it was to cede to a younger generation of saplings.