Of Rocks and Seeps

fresh icicles

New icicles formed overnight from seeps through the sedimentary walls around the Waterfall by the Old Mill. On an early spring day, after a sudden frost, we walked the Rim Trail to capture the moment.

Here icicles formed during the quick April freeze hand above Fish Kill. Kill is an old Dutch word for creek.

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Here a mix of frost and lichen mottle the rock layers.

These shots were hand held. I used a Sony Alpha 700 dslr with a variable “zoom” lens, great for framing compositions.

Robert H. Treman New York State Park.

Click for a slideshow of this Waterfall of the Old Mill sequence

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Three Views, Falls of the Old Mill

A challenge of light

A day the falls run free of ice. On an early spring day, after a sudden frost, we walked the Rim Trail to capture the moment. Here are three captures of the same waterfall, the first visitors to the upper park encounter and the most visited and photographed right off the parking area.

Fish Kill was captured at this point to provide power to grind grain. Today neither nature nor man control the flow. Kill is the old Dutch word for creek.

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I have never counted the waterfalls from this one to the grand sweep of lower falls. The falls are uncountable because no two people could agree on how small a fall to credit.

Of these three versions, i prefer this one for the foreground inclusion of the enormous limestone blocks set to protect visitors from the drop. This scene is challenging photographically, bifurcated as it is by the bright sun over the fall brink. I prefer to shoot these falls early morning, for this reason, before the sun illuminates the area at all. Long exposures required demand a rock solid tripod, as it is just off the parking lot I use my studio Manfrotto for the work. Here all shots were handheld.

I used a Sony Alpha 700 dslr with a variable “zoom” lens, great for framing compositions.

Robert H. Treman New York State Park.

Click for a slideshow of this sequence of the Waterfall of the Old Mill

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Lucifer Falls Slide Show

Farewell for now

Pam and I visited Tremank for our last visit of 2017. It was a bright, warm October afternoon. Here is a slide show of our experience, the details shared in recent postings. Enjoy!!

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In November the gorge is closed for the winter due to dangerous conditions under the steep, crumbling walls. Robert H. Treman New York State Park.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cliff Stairs IV

A Wall with Moss Padding

Pam examining thick moss growth on the sedimentary rock of Treman gorge. These layers of shale, sandstone, siltstone formed at the bottom of a broad, shallow sea over 380 million years ago.

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Towards the bottom of the 223 Cliff Stair steps moss takes over the Devonian shale of the cliff wall surface. Here, the cliff shelters the wall from sunlight 365 days a year.

Robert H. Treman New York State Park.

Click for a slideshow of this sequence Lucifer Falls and Cliff Stair Views

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cliff Stairs III

“Red-shanks”

This geranium species (scientific name Geranium robertianum) are also called “Herb-Robert” for a reputed ability to ward off disease.

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Scottish Highlands residents call these wild geraniums “red-shanks” for the deep red color of the stalks, seen in both photographs.

Robert H. Treman New York State Park.

Source, “How to Know the Wildflowers” by Mrs. William Star Dana, 1989, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Click for a slideshow of this sequence Cliff Stair Views

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Last Hike

A sllideshow

Thank You for exploring the South Rim trail of Taughannock Falls State Park on the last perfectly sunny autumn day of 2019.

A sunny November Walk

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Click me for the first post of this series, “Cuteness Break.”

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Gorge Jewels

“J” trees and a charming weed

Friday last Pam and I joined a “James Potorti Memorial Gorge Walk” through Buttermilk Falls State Park where we learned interesting facts connected to one of my most successful photographs, “Summer Dream: Buttermilk Falls.” This is the fifth and final post of this series.

Final Photograph of my “Creek Views” post — not waterfall in distance

Upper Buttermilk Gorge Trail

Below is a photograph of that distant waterfall. Taken using a tripod mounted Canon EOS 1DS Mark III body with the Canon lens EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM w/a neutral density filter (0.6 as I recall) it is from an early morning solo walk, July 2018.

This photograph is one of a series from that day. Here is a link to my waterfall photographs on Getty IStock, including the series captured on that July 2018 morning.

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Natural steps

J Tree

A characteristic of Finger Lakes Gorges is a constant infall from fragile sedimentary walls. Tree roots hold the slopes in place until the inevitable slippage. Tree trunks bear the mark, as you can see from tree to the right of the steps. Slippage moves the trunk horizontal, subsequent growth toward the sun curves the trunk. In extreme cases the tree forms the shape of an umbrella handle.

More examples of this slippage are seen on the right creek bank in the following photograph from my post of this series, “Creek Views.”

More curved trees

Impatiens capensis

Emerging from the gorge, soil accumulates on narrow shelves where this Jewelweed plant grows. Here we leave the gorge for now.

(Impatiens capensis) growing along the upper portion of the Buttermilk Sate Park Gorge Trail in early September, just after Labor Day. This photograph shows the plant growth pattern and the surrounding environment.
(Impatiens capensis) growing along the upper portion of the Buttermilk Sate Park Gorge Trail in early September, just after Labor Day. This photograph shows the plant growth pattern and the surrounding environment.

In Memorium

James Potorti was a native of Ithaca who perished at 52 years of age in New York City on September 11, 2001 were he worked on the 96th floor of 1 World Trade Center.

Click me for the first post, “Finger Lakes Water Chemistry.”
Copyright 2019, Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved