For this photograph I came down from the overlook building, right next to the vines, where it all starts, each plant growing from and clinging to the soil. Genetics play an important role, particularly the epigenetics, the expression of a crop’s genetic traits as affected by the context of the local environment. Here we see row after row of vines on the west side of Keuka Lake, the land sloping enough so the lake is clearly visible below. On the other side the land is clearly forested with few, if any, vines, on a steeper slope. There is more sunlight on the west side, the land tilts a bit to the southeast and northwest on the east side. In the northern hemisphere, a southern exposure means more sunlight.
There is a geological reason for this topography. In this part of New York State sequential, long plates of land aligned on a general north-south axis each sloping to the east causing longer, more gradual slopes on the east side and, one the west shorter, steeper slopes as we see in this photograph. The crease where the plates meet is where each of the Finger Lakes formed. It is the combination of the lake water holding of warmth and the long slope exposure to sunlight that creates a microclimate favorable to the vines.
We visited Keuka Lake on a December day for my last two posts, “Keuka Lake Winter” and “Iron Grace”. October 5, 2014 found Pam and I at the same overlook after my son completed the Wine Glass Marathon. Here we are at the finish line in Corning, home of the Corning Glass Factory. You may know it from your set of Correlle dinnerware.
Afterwards, Pam and I made it up to the Dr. Frank Winery for a tasting followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Here is a photograph from the same viewpoint, using the “zoom” setting of my Sony DSLR A700. The view is more interesting than the winter shot of “Keuka Lake Winter I” from the autumn clouds and the burst of late day sun on the eastern lake shore.
This is the juncture of the “Y” shaped lake where the two arms joint the long foot. The pointed high headland is the point where the two arms meet. We are looking north here. The western arm, on the right, is unique in that the water is flowing down into the juncture. In Keuka Lake the water flows in two directions. The flow of lake foot and eastern arm is in the opposite direction, Keuka Lake empties at the top of the eastern arm, eventually reaching Lake Ontario.
Here is the eastern view, from the overlook, looking over a vineyard ready for harvest, covered with fruit and leaves. Every once in awhile there is a loud “bang” from a noisemaker used to discourage birds from feasting on grapes. The buildings along the shore are summer cottages, Keuka is lined with them.
The same view, from our December 2018 visit. The vines are bare, the fallen leaves cleared, the vine roots covered under banked earth to protect them from the cold.
Pam and I, enjoying wine after the 2014 Wine Glass Marathon. Cheers!!
Summer was the season for our visit to the edge of eternal, for now, Patagonian ice fields. Remnants from the last ice age, larger than some (small) countries. The site is surprisingly noisy with sharp, explosive, ice crackles.
More amazing even than the sounds, the dark shading on the ice is volcanic dust from recent eruptions of many cones.
This day, as our hill turns to snow globe, I remember this early morning, March 2007, on the edge of spring.
As winter changed to spring I noticed the first greening of the limbs and, each November, the eerie form of the limbs revealed. I call the tree an “elm” though I am not certain. There are other lone survivor elms nearby, the leaves are right for an elm. Some elm species/specimens have the same shape.
This quiet nook is hidden along the Oak Creek Canyon trail, though easy enough to find.
I visited there just at dawn when the air was still and the usually busy site deserted.
Oak Creek Canyon is named for the native, evergreen oak species unique to desert environments. The leaves conserve moisture: small, thick. I remember camping at the Chiricahua National Monument on November. All night the acorns fell onto the metal picnic tables, a loud metallic thunk.
The post header is a primrose flower growing on the bank of Oak Creek.
Recognize the rock from “Oak Creek Mandala”? This is farther up the Oak Creek Canyon trail, “photograph by Pam Wills.” I am in my warm weather photography kit of the time having passed the camera to Pam for the shot.
Under a crystal blue September sky, my wife and I climbed into the gorge of Bear Swamp Creek to the foot of this waterfall past the site of a distillery where, years ago, locals used to frequent using a “jug path.”
The creek is strictly protected as part of the water source for Syracuse, flowing from the Skaneateles Highlands past historical villages such as “New Hope.” Before merging with Skaneateles Lake, the creek traverses this 90 foot fall, call Carpenter Falls.
You need to climb the steep slopes of the gorge for this unobstructed view.
It is even possible to climb to the ledge behind the water. Standing on the ledge, the stream passes 50 feet overhead. It is a lovely view down the gorge in all seasons.