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Eagle Creek is in Bankhead National Forest. This is one of the photos in “Alabama Outdoors.”
Courtesy photo by Charles Seifried
Eagle Creek is in Bankhead National Forest. This is one of the photos in “Alabama Outdoors.”

Decatur photographer reveals state wonders

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com · 340-2395

Alabama’s remote mountains, rivers and caves take a year of hiking, climbing and canoeing to appreciate their diverse beauty.

That is the introduction in Charles Seifried and Jim Felder’s new photo book, “Alabama Outdoors.”

Or you could pay $30 at the bookstore to enjoy the panoramic views stretching from DeSoto Falls to the Mobile delta.

Though it looks like a coffee-table book, its 131 pages are designed as a traveler’s companion. In addition to the colorful photographs, it offers destination instructions and shares discoveries that surprised the authors.

For example, Seifried, a Decatur resident, said he had no idea Alabama drew rock climbers from Europe or that he could straddle a geologic line at Moscow Landing, which divides the dinosaur age from the age of mammals.

“The main thing that was shocking to me was that one-twelfth of water in this country drains through Alabama,” he said.

This is the third time Seifried and Felder have connected. The first was a user’s guide/coffee table book for Bankhead National Forest called “Alabama’s Canyons.”

The second was a coffee table book called “Garden Views of Decatur and Morgan County.”

The new book has some familiar scenes from previous works, such as Caney Creek Falls, but Seifried said about 85 percent of the photos were made especially for this new book, which took a year to compile.

Seifried conceded previous books, including his first, “Alabama Simply Beautiful,” didn’t contain much south of Birmingham.

Vistas

The new book is more balanced statewide and features unfamiliar vistas capturing paddlers among the tall alligator grass of the Tensaw River, rock climbers scaling Horse Pens 40 and a mountain biker rolling along a trail at Lake Lurleen State Park near Tuscaloosa.

Paddling the Tombigbee and the Tensaw rivers was some of the most rewarding time, Seifried added, because he never realized how stunningly beautiful those areas are.

He compared the Tombigbee to what it must have been like walking through Bankhead 100 years ago when many of its canyons were undisturbed.

Books are available at all eight locations of Alabama Outdoors. The closest one is in Huntsville at 2030 Cecil Ashburne Drive S.E.

Seifried said the books will be available soon at Books-A-Million.

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