After leaf fall abrupt emptiness of Taughannock Falls is visible from the south rim. Beyond, you can just make out the enormous carved limestone slabs that protect visitors from the constant infall from the gorge walls allowing them to approach the falls.
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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills
The oak holds tight to leaves, sometimes until spring when new growth pushes last year’s off. Here is a cluster on a bright November afternoon hanging above the South Rim trail of Taughannock Falls Park of the New York State Finger Lakes Region.
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills
Travelling light, using IPhone captures during a 4.6 mile walk on the Gorge and North and South Rim Trails of Taughannock Falls 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.
A “Rim Trail” follows the edge of the gorge. The “Gorge Trail” is within the gorge, along side the creek and ends at the 200+ foot waterfall.
This was the day Tiger Lilies bloomed along the roads the entire 13 miles. This stand was at the beginning of the South Rim trail.
A few steps farther the trail opens up to the expanse of the gorge above the waterfall, a place to contemplate the age of these rock gazing into the open space. There is no access to the bottom of the gorge here.
On days like this, the experience carries me away, enjoying the moments and forgetting the phone in my pocket. When I come to, it is the bottom of the South Rim trail at the entrance to the Gorge Trail and the hordes walking to the falls on a Sunday afternoon. This waterfall welcomes everyone at the beginning.
The vantages I choose usually exclude the crowds, here is a video of the observation platform beneath the 215 foot Taughannock Falls. Any closer and the camera lens is covered with mist. Feels great on this hot day.
I capture this tree growing along the Gorge Trail for later identification. It has fruits similar to a maple tree. Called samaras and also known as helicopters, maple keys, whirlybirds, and polynoses these must distinguish this tree as a member of the genus Acer though the leaf shape gives me doubts. Here the gorge changes direction almost 90 degrees from, generally, north/south to east/west. There is plenty of sunlight here and the tree has taken root in the talus of the cliff face.
I researched it and discovered the scientific name is Acer pensylvanicum and more commonly known as Moosewood. There is a “famous” restaurant in Ithaca, named Moosewood, so now I know there is indeed a tree growing locally by that name. The restaurant is near the commons of Ithaca and is 100% vegetarian. The last time Pam and I at there we were packed like sardines, like some collective, and we’ve never been back. The food is good and the basis of their fame is a cookbook by the same name.
Backlit lilies found on the climb up the North Rim trail.