In Search of Fall Color 2013

Nice fall color with vibrant oranges and reds have been hard to find in central Ohio this fall. Even in typically great places for fall color like Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the color just wasn’t there!

Over the weekend of October 18-20, I traveled to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for fall color and was disappointed. In 2011 my wife and I were in the park this very same weekend and the color was fantastic, not so in 2013. After talking to several local photographers, they didn’t think the color would be good at all this year due to the wet summer and early fall and the number of leaves already on the ground. To be fair, there was some color just not the usual beautiful mix of yellows, oranges, and reds. I had an ambitious shooting schedule on this trip starting out on Friday afternoon at the Mingus Mill on the North Carolina side of the park, and a sunset atop Clingman’s Dome, followed by a full day in the Tremont area on Saturday shooting along the Middle Prong of the Little River and hiking to Spruce Flat Falls. I ended up at the Noah “Bud” Ogle homestead near the entrance to the Roaring Fork Motor trail on Sunday morning before heading back to Ohio.

Below is the Mingus Mill taken in late afternoon light. The Mingus Mill was originally built in the 1790’s by the Mingus Family who owned it until the 1930’s when the National Park Service acquired it.  The current mill, built in 1886 replaced the original mill and uses a water-powered turbine to power all the machinery in the mill instead of a traditional water wheel.

The Mingus Mill

Noah “Bud” Ogle was a Smoky Mountain farmer who first settled in what is now Gatlinburg with his wife Cindy in 1879.  Their cabin, pictured above was built in the 1880’s and consists of two cabins sharing a single chimney, known as a “saddlebag” style.  The Ogle cabin also has a very unique feature for the time…running water!  A wooden plume ran from a spring near the cabin up to the back porch.  Once there the water poured into a double sink made from a large log.

Noah “Bud” Ogle Homestead

To see more of my photography of the Smoky Mountains, please visit my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

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