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Visiting a waterfall, especially on a hot sultry day, can be a favorite way to spend a day. You get in your car, drive for miles, then get out and walk the remainder of the way to a waterfall. Civilization has cleared and marked a pathway for you and the many thousands like you that have also come to enjoy these named landmarks. Rarely do you get to enjoy the natural beauty of one by just stepping out into your own backyard. Behind my house, barely noticeable, is a trail leading through the woods to a waterfall. The trail is narrow but well worn. Any shrubbery that would have grown has been trampled down and all that is left is a very narrow path, overhung with branches from the trees that mark its sides. As I start down the trail, I begin to feel the trees closing around me until the house can no longer be seen. I follow the trail to where it stops at the creek's edge, approaching quietly so as not to disturb any of the wild creatures that has come to enjoy the cool fresh water. I gently cross over the creek using the stones, which show the wear of several previous crossing, so that I can have full view of the creek and the beauty it possesses. I can hear the rush of the water long before I see the falls. As I sit down on the big gray slate rock that has been warmed by the early morning sun, I begin to gulp in the beauty as a starving man would gulp down food. I start my usual ritual of examining the banks of the creek by gazing down the right side of it first. I notice that the wild azaleas are in full bloom and that the trees have regained all their leaves. They stand tall and majestic as if they are soldiers standing guard. My gaze travels up one of the trees to find two squirrels chattering down at me as if to say "Go away and leave us in peace." Further down starts the gentle bend that takes the remainder of the creek from my view. My gaze shifts to the left side of the bank and there lies an old oak tree...

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