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Dismals Canyon: Newfound treasures in a forgotten forest
Photographer: Sue Lawrence
Location: Rainbow Falls at Dismals Canyon, Phil Campbell, AL
Dismals Canyon is lush and cool, moist and mysterious. It's like an underground forest that has yet to be discovered. Although this beautiful "land of green" has been a National Historic Landmark since 1975, many Alabama natives I know have never even heard of it. But, once you experience it the first time, you'll want to go back again and again. Here, in the midst of beautiful twin waterfalls, variant shaped moss-covered boulders, trees slanted towards the only available sunlight, ferns and pebbles, my friend and fellow photographer Jennifer Summar had discovered two Venusta Orchard Spiders and their intricately-woven webs of silk. It was like finding hidden treasures in a forgotten forest and it was just the beginning of the canyon trail. This is where the Alabama Chickasaw Indian tribe once lived. This is where they started on that infamous Trail of Tears, marched by foot from Alabama to Oklahoma in the dead of winter's cold and snow, when 90% of their tribe perished before journey's end. The canyon walls still seem to echo their stories, and the towering canyon walls stay as moist as yesterday's tears. This is Dismals Canyon, and Jennifer has planted her feet in opposite directions and leaned into the big boulder beside her to get her shot. She is connecting with Nature and recording it in images for this and the next generation. She has discovered treasures in America's forgotten forest. (Note: I have a signed Photo Release from the individual in this photo.)
Digital Alterations: 
Scene changed to "cloudy," image straightened and cropped slightly, color saturation increased by 10%, and sharpened by 20%.
Camera Information: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300, 20.4 mega pixels, 50x Optical Zoom
Special Equipment: