Grant Brook cascades

A return to an old favorite.

It’s becoming a pattern – a visit to Georgiana Falls two weeks ago, then Beaver Brook cascades last week, and now a return to my favorite Lyme cascades, along Grant Brook. Although I arrived perhaps a week or two late for the best foliage, the falls were still spectacular. A heavy rain yesterday brought the stream up to full force, and the surrounding forest still had plenty of yellow and orange to lend color to the scene.

Cascades and waterfalls along Grant Brook in Lyme, NH.

I first encountered these cascades four years ago when I traversed the entire watercourse of Grant Brook from the Connecticut River up to the summit of Smarts Mountain, and returned a year later to snap an award-winning photograph. So today I hoped I might find similarly good conditions. I parked beside the brook and worked my way upstream, capturing each set of cascades and trying to push my ability to think through composition, exposure, and depth of field.

As I scrambled up through the rough terrain along the north bank, carrying my tripod and camera, I spotted a Great Blue Heron standing calmly in the pool below one of the larger waterfalls. Although the din of the rushing water had masked my arrival, he looked directly at me. I looked at him. He looked at me. Slowly, very slowly, I maneuvered my camera and tripod into position… but no, he was skittish, and off he flew. What a shot that would have made! Sigh.

Cascades and waterfalls along Grant Brook in Lyme, NH.

Soon the sun pushed through the clouds, rising high above the trees upstream, adding a harsh glint to the water and deep shadows along the banks. Although that light can sometimes lead to great results, as it had in this location three years ago, today it was not as helpful. I packed it in.

Still, I’m pleased with the gallery of shots from today.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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