On Halloween morning 2004 I set out with a camera upgrade purchased spring of that year, a Sony “Cyber Shot, DSC-F828” with an inexpensive tripod. My photograph “Autumn Stroll in Sapsucker Woods”, the feature photograph and below, achieved prizes with the Photographic Society of American and a few sales of self-produced prints. It was an early success.
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It is available on my Finger Lakes Memories online gallery where I provide recommendations for sizing, the best print medium with ideas for frame and matt.
The fall of 2005 I invested in a Kodak DCS Pro dslr-c and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. October 30, 2005, one day short of the 2004 Halloween shoot, found me driving down Fall Creek Road on a mission of revisiting Sapsucker Woods to possibly improve upon my offerings.
Over the years, travelling Fall Creek Road on my daily commute, I admired this well formed maple next to a farm field. At 6:45 am the sun was about this rise, the frost limned grass not yet burned off. This tree turned a bright yellow, here a green-yellow and dull. The form of the tree is perfect. I was never able to catch this at the right moment, it is still there and maybe I can time it this year during a pick-up of my grandson. If I do, my intention is to climb the fence and use the 24 mm lens to capture the tree and shed with less sky (unless there are some dramatic clouds). That day, I needed to make time for Sapsucker woods.
On site, thirty minutes later, as the leaves of the Fall Creek Road maple predicted, Sapsucker Woods foliage is behind last year’s by a week or so. In “Autumn Stroll in Sapsucker Woods” the over story leaves have fallen and the understory is at peak. Here, I believe the overstory is gone, the understory leaves are yellow-green.
I carefully choose the sites and this one is a risen walk of boards. In the nine years since, the walk as deteriorated and this scene will be different, possibly.
This is a match for the 2004 photograph as far as the camera position. What I enjoy from the 2004 version, aside from the foliage, are the details of the fallen leaves taking up the foreground, a carpet filling the field to lead the eye up through the trees, path fading from view to the right.
This effect is not possible on the boardwalk, above. With the fixed focus 50 mm lens it might be possible with effort. Today, the 24 mm is my first choice to capture this effect.
Here we can see the leaf carpet is possible, if the f-stop is higher to allow a crisp focus. In this scene it is f2 because I happened upon a buck in a daze. He was just standing there as I headed back to the car. I did not risk changing out lenses to the telephoto, so I moved forward slowly.
The best I did was this rear view as he looked backward. Lack of flexibility is a draw back of a fixed-focus lens.
In 2004 my day concluded with Robert Treman State Park. In 2005 the 50 mm fixed focus with a ND filter and tripod was in its element. The sun is higher and overcast, one background tree is a peak foliage. The moderate water flow and stair complete the effect. This was my best work of that day. I need to get this up on the “Finger Lakes Memories” gallery.
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Travelling light, using IPhone captures during a 5.7 mile walk on the Gorge and South Rim Trails of Robert H. Treman New York State Park, Finger Lakes Region near Ithaca, New York. A few waterfalls and sights along the way. Distance is from the “Health” app on my phone.
Here is a repost for those who missed the video. Please click on video, below and share your responses via comments. Thank You
The Finger Lakes Trail joins Robert H. Treman New York State Park, running along the south rim along the park border.
Today, I started from the stairs next to the Mill of the upper park, walking along Fish Kill Creek, a brief visit to the CCC plaque, over the new footbridge and a steep climb up to the ridge to a marvelous view over the way we just walked. That is a millipede resting on a wooden trail stake.
A word on the creek name. The Dutch word for creek is “Kill”, the anglicisation of the original name retained the Dutch making it, in effect, “Fish Creek Creek,” not a memorization of fish massacre.
There’s one shot of the damage done to tree leaves by hoards of caterpillars…I found chewed-up leaves at my feet throughout the hike.
Then, I re-join the State Park South Rim trail, down the Cliff Staircase to wander the gorge floor below Lucifer Falls.
Up the Gorge Trail with many shots of these wonders including Lucifer Falls, Devil’s Kitchen Waterfall, and the Gallery.
Close with a shot of early Tiger Lily blooms on the south facing bank of Enfield Creek.
I used a new format with this post, with all media in one You Tube video. Enjoy!!
Pam and I headed out to Treman Park for a walk to the Lucifer Falls overlook. The Gorge Trail is not yet open due to the danger of rock falling from the gorge walls — the park maintenance staff needs to survey winter damage and knock down material in danger of falling.
Our first stop was the mill waterfall. This was was directed to the mill stream to power the mill where grain was ground to order.
Here is an overview of the Mill, now a museum not yet opened post-Covid. The millstone stands at the start of the foot trails. All media on this post is from my IPhone 7, lightweight equipment for this hike. The automatic upload to ICloud is convenient.
Round trip is four-plus miles, with several hundred feet elevation change. Pam and I discussed a car caravan for our next visit, to support a one-way downhill hike (still plenty of uphill hiking). We need to work up to the round trip after our winter inactivity.
Trillium are in bloom!!
Multiple overlooks into the gorge grace this trail.
More trillium before we reached the overlook. Lucifer falls and the incredible path etched into the cliff by the Civilian Conservation Corps (Roosevelt’s Tree Army during the Depression).
After the Lucifer Falls overlook is this stupendous view from the top of the Cliff Stairs, 224 steps continue to link to the Gorge and South Rim trails.
As we lingered on the top steps the flowering plants slowly revealed themselves.
I captured this tragic image on the return trip….a trillium discarded on the trail. Stiff fines await anyone caught doing this.
Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved
“Out in the meadow, I picked a wild sunflower, and as I looked into its golden heart,such a wave of homesickness came over me that I almost wept. I wanted Mother, withher gentle voice and quiet firmness; I longed to hear Father’s jolly songs and to see his twinkling blue eyes; I was lonesome for the sister with whom I used to play in the meadow picking daisies and wild sunflowers.”
from “Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist, Writings from the Ozarks” edited by Stephen W. Hines”
Back in 2007 I used a 100 mm Canon Macro lens on a Kodak slr along with a Sony DSC-F828 variable lens for this mix of macro and habitat captures presented as a gallery so you can flip back and forth among the larger images. Click any image to bring up a larger version.