Contemplation II repost

Climb down the cliff stair, 223 of them, to this quiet place.

Click Me for this 2019 autumn wonder post.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Contemplation I repost

Climb down the cliff stair, 223 of them, to this quiet place.

Click Me for this 2019 autumn wonder post.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Lib Slope Hickory

the largest and brightest yellow canopy on Libe Slope.

Libe Slope

Cornell University is on a west-facing hill above Cayuga lake.  Libe Slope is between the West Campus and Quadrangle / Libraries.

Besides the exercise of walking the 18 degree incline several times each day,  Cornell students and alumni remember The Slope for autumn color.

Built in 1868, McGraw Hall has the honor of having the first of Cornell’s towers. The building is built of Ithaca stone and is home to the American Studies Program, Department of History, Department of Anthropology, and Archaeology Intercollege Program. The first floor of McGraw Hall houses the McGraw Hall Museum, a collection of roughly 20,000 objects from around the globe used for teaching by the Anthropology Department.

Hickory

This is a Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra),  the largest tree  according to a 2009 Campus Tree Inventory (see link, below).

Seen from the north on a cloudy October day, this Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) is the largest tree on the Cornell Campus, at 79 inches in diameter.

This hickory grows south of the Johnson Museum and among the autumn glories, it is the largest and brightest yellow canopy on Libe Slope.

Contrast

I remember this hickory for the contrast between the canopy and trunk, the way the clumps of yellow hang from dark boughs.  An overcast day is the best to capture this spectacle.  October 20, 2012 provided both bright sun and dark, rolling autumn clouds.  I waited on the north side, sheltered from the glare of the sky, for these perfect moments.

Leaves and Nuts

The pignut hickory is native to these Eastern United States.  It is known to favor moist slopes and this specimen has thrived on The Slope.  The ground beneath it is thick with nuts.

One week later as Hurricane Sandy approached the east coast

Just one week later, late afternoon on a sunny Friday as hurricane Sandy approached the east coast the hickory has fewer, tawny golden leaves.

Later in October the bright yellow leaves of the Libe Slope Hickory darken to a tawny gold. The Johnson Museum is in the right background.

Wonderful Flow of Limbs among Gold

Seen from the north on a cloudy October day, this Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) is the largest tree on the Cornell Campus, at 79 inches in diameter.

References

A Photo Tour of Key Buildings at Cornell University by Allen Grove

Websites

Cornell Tree Inventory

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Sense of Scale

Humans dwarfed by the eons

Lack of reference leads to a confused impression of this torrent of water. An adult human, standing on the lower rock ledges, will be dwarfed by the surroundings.

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Lucifer Falls at moderate spring flood. The Gorge Trail is closed for the winter due to the danger of falling rock. The water volume can sweep an unwary hiker quickly over the brink.

The potential for fatalities is increased by black ice on the smooth slate walkways along the torrent. Can you spot the barrier blocking access to the path? I am at a secure perch at the falls overlook on the Rim Trail, opened at this season.

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

Gully vs. Ravine

I love the early spring light filtering through the hemlocks.

Rim trail traverses gullies. These creases in the gorge walls were formed by small streams flowing to Enfield Creek.

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Some passages require a wade, others have elaborate walkways with bridges. I initially wanted to call these ravines. Upon researching the term discovered while ravines are formed by erosion, the scale here is much smaller. I could rename Enfield Gorge, to Enfield Ravine.

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

Icicles!!

Key words: steep, icy

Water drips steadily from seeps, places water follows hidden cracks to emerge from the darkness. In warm seasons these may be a patch of moisture enabling the growth of ferns, only becoming evident when air is cold enough to freeze slowly running water.

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These macros capture the Moss, Fern and Lichen. These thrive in this environment.

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

Up the Rim Trail

Key words: steep, icy

It is the Gorge Trail that’s closed for the cold months, November through April. The Rim Trail remains open for those who dare icy, steep paths Unlike Gorge Trail, Rim Trail climbs above the dangerous cliffs from which rocks are wedged free by ice to fall on the trail. On an early spring day, after a sudden frost, we walked the Rim Trail to capture the moment.

Here is the steep start, climbing up from the Upper Park where a footbridge crosses Fish Kill. Kill is the old Dutch word for creek. Fish Kill mergers with Enfield Creek a few hundred feet downstream.

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This north facing slope stays frozen into May. Here layers of the sedimentary rock shale, laid down in a shallow warm sea over 350 million years ago, are slowly pried apart. Hemlock tree roots wedge between rock layers, slowly growing. The action of ice, water expands in volume at the point of freezing, aids the process.

In places the rock face appears to be a hastily made dry stone wall, the rock layers are so disrupted by plant and frost.

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

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