Underground Railroad

Autumn Wonder

We have often travelled Lower Creek Road as an alternate route to visit my son and his family who live in Freeville, a village named for the activity of the Underground Railroad. After noticing this sign in passing for years, this week we stopped on a glorious autumn morning to capture it. I had packed the Sony Alpha 700 dslr for just such an opportunity.

Just off the road, under a maple tree in full autumn color (yellow), ground covered with fallen leaves (brown) on a fine early October morning, the sign reads, “New York, UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, HOME OF WILLIAM HANFORD AND WIFE ALTHA C. TODD, WHO SHELTERED FUGITIVE SLAVES ON THE WAY TO CANADA AND FREEDOM, STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 1932”. These dark blue background, bright yellow letter signed are found throughout this region and much appreciated.

An added plus for me is the acceptance of both photographs by Getty Istock. Click this link to view a selection of my Getty photography in and around Ithaca, New York.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

A Summer Flower and Waterfalls

A personal discovery of the namesake of an Ithaca restaurant

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.

Click me for a Tiger Lily photograph from my Fine Art Gallery. Click the “View Larger” link for the image.

Along the trail are interesting and informative sheets about the park and surrounding towns. Trumansburg is the nearest village to the park.

Click me for another Waterfall post.
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Thayer Preserve Suite

recapitulation

On Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve, still pools become mirrors at low flow during a dry autumn.

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 6

still

On Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve, still pools become mirrors at low flow during a dry autumn.

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 5

maple leaves, mostly

Bedrock on which Lick Creek flows, formed 370 million years ago from sediment of a vast inland sea, is a soothing grey-blue backdrop to autumn leaves.

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 4

movement

Maple leaves in varying states of decay.

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 3

on display

Crisp maple leaves among hemlock roots on the bank of Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 2

Hemlock Roots

Crisp maple leaves among hemlock roots on the bank of Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 1

color pallet

Crisp maple leaves among hemlock roots on the bank of Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Mirror

…on the wall

On Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve, still pools become mirrors at low flow during a dry autumn.

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will