The music begins, oh so softly. An ethereal voice wafts in on the wisps of mist swaddling the mountains. Then another voice enters, and another. Plink, plink, plinkety-PLINK.
Little by little a staccato of raindrops pitter-patters on the leaves, drips onto the ferns and mosses below, and trickles into the loam, only to emerge again downhill.
Soon the water droplets have blended their voices in a myriad of small seeps and runs. They babble their way down the mountainside in tiny rivulets, joining in an ever growing ensemble.
Rivulets become runs, runs become creeks, creeks become rivers. Each fresh stream that joins the current brings strength and resonance to the chorus.
Soprano voices skim atop the rocks, while baritone and bass thrum deeply below the surface.
The liquid choir skillfully interweaves melodies and harmonies, with the trill of birds a enchanting counterpoint.
The watery tempo ebbs and flows.
A quick allegro where the creek rushes through rocky channels and shallows, over stones of slate gray and russet.
A stately largo as it reaches the quiet passages and shady deep pools.
The river builds with a crescendo. Reaching the brink, the water plunges in unison over a dramatic ledge.
Only to break again into many voices, lacing increasingly intricate harmonies into the braided flow of the waterfall.
The symphony knows neither coda nor encore, only an endless surge to the sea.
The melodious soundtrack of the cascades and waterfalls accompanies the beautiful display that delights the eye of the beholder.
Water is the lifeblood of the Smoky Mountains. Frequent rain and ever-present mists feed both the lush forest and the creeks and rivers.
Still water, rushing water, falling water – this is the music of the mountains.