Hemlock Creek – Two Falls

On our second journey to these falls, we finally succeeded, thanks only to "Deet-Free Buzz Away Extreme" natural insect repellent.

The first time we tried to hit these falls, my insect bait worked, as I didn't get bit once.  Problem was, the bait complained (aka - "The Wife") about the dozen or so bites she incurred within the first 15 minutes of hiking and we headed back up the trail and home.  That was last year.  The mosquito spray worked great and we made our way to the falls.  These are located on the trail between Lake in the Woods and Hemlock Lake.

Here's a Northern Red-Legged frog.  We also saw a smaller frog and salamander sharing a rock hole in the creek, a small lizard, and a cave cricket that was bright orange and black.  The cave cricket was huge, too.  It jumped off an overturned stump next to the water, then jumped in the creek.

You might notice the sunlit tree which is omnipresent on the left. It manages to photobomb the entire time, regardless of the steps taken to omit it.

This tree marred about 10-15 quality photos residing in my "NO" folder.

The first one is called Clover Falls, as it's near Clover Butte.  It is easily one of the most beautiful places we've been.

You might notice some smudging on the lower right on this last one.  It's from water droplets on the underwater pack.  This also was just a few minutes after a branch tickled my lower back and made me freak out because I thought something was trying to get me, nearly causing me to fall into the pool.

Anyway, on down the creek...

This was a pretty little fall just downstream.  It was not pretty enough for me to risk break my leg getting down to get a proper photo of, however.

Nothing special about this photo, but I find this kind of spider interesting.  It is a long-jawed orb weaver.  When you approach, they'll often pull their legs in close, with half sticking straight in front of them, the other half straight behind. This gives them the narrow appearance of a stick caught in a spider's web.  When they feel threatened, they drop into the creek, being whooshing away in swift water or dropping into the calm pool below, then climb back up onto their web.

While I like both pictures, I still feel I missed the shot.  I think I'm more upset of missing the shot of the huge, bright orange cave cricket a few minutes after this.  This was the only tiger lily we saw all day.  Lucky enough, it was sitting just in front of Middle Hemlock Falls (I think).  There are at least 4 marked waterfalls through this stretch and about 6 different waterfall-like features.  One of these days, I need to go through the creek with a fine-toothed comb and officially document them all.

What I find interesting is the rainbow laser effect of the water spray.  These two aren't much aesthetically, and I took these, actually a bunch of these, even though I knew they really wouldn't turn out.  I think it was mostly stubbornness due to the fact it was a difficult spot to get out of, with a wet 6' climb ahead of me and 50' waterfall immediately behind.

Here's another large waterfall in there, though as I edit this page years later, I don't remember whether it was the waterfall mentioned directly above or another.  I believe it was the former, but it reiterates the need to survey the creek.

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