Spring has arrived and, for many of us, our minds wander to the outdoors as we wish ourselves into the center of the grand explosion that is spring. One of my favorite things about this time of year is the effect of rainfall on the cascades & waterfalls that flow out of the hills and mountains of east Tennessee. April’s showers swell these natural features into shimmering, thundering centerpieces of the awakening forests. Visit them later in the summer and they are but a shadow of their roaring, glorious selves- often barely a trickle.
The root of my waxing on waterfalls is a photograph that I found while processing a collection (Orrelle Cornelius Collection) this week. The photo (below) is of a UTC (UC at the time) physics professor, Dr. David W. Cornelius and his wife Orrelle Fidlar Cornelius, director of many UC theatre productions and playwright. The photo was taken at the top of Lula Falls on Lookout Mountain (probably sometime in the 1920’s). The composition of the image is just so striking to me: he’s looking directly into the camera (and totally reminding me of David Lynch) while she is looking off into the distance and the waterfall is raging behind them and making this image, 90 years later, seem so alive.
I would encourage you to get out and see some waterfalls this spring before they, once again, return to their diminished states. The Lula Lake/Falls area is only open on certain dates (usually Saturdays). For more information and photos of Lula Falls and Lula Lake visit the website for the Lula Lake Land Trust .
Lula Falls as it is today. Image used in accordance with the Creative Commons 3.0 license & taken by SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent).