Soft on Rough

Dusted with light

Snow clings to the rough tree bark surface graced by late afternoon vernal sunshine.

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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 macro slideshow.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Frond in Snow

Green Promise

Lying on leaf fall and moss a fern frond winter survivor bears the last snow.

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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 macro slideshow.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Fronds with Icicle

Fern Generations

Spent and green fern frond with moss and icicles formed during an early April frost.

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Fern generations are here with the spent fronds from earlier years, pale green survivors of 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 macro slideshow.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Ascent

Andrew Wyeth effect

Here the Rim Trail climbs out of the flats beneath the Cliff Stairs, away from Enfield Creek, onto the upper slopes of the gorge.

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Early spring snow highlights the path, threading between hemlocks. The American realistic painter Andrew Wyeth comes to mind with I see the mottled texture of this light snow. He captured some of this in landscape paintings such as “Snow Flurries.”

Here is more of this effect……

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 Fertile Flats sequence.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Periwinkle

Source of life-saving drug

A broad, fertile flat between gorge walls supports a dense growth of invasive creeping myrtle. Springtime there is a sprinkling of small blue flowers, this may be the source of another name, periwinkle, or lesser periwinkle.

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Periwinkle is an evergreen and in early times vinca vine (another name we call it, from the scientific name Vinca Minor) was planted in graveyards and cemeteries. The isolated growth of vinca vine in this section of the gorge maybe from such a planting on a lost grave.

Today, the park practices leaving fallen trees in place, here they are covered in years of moss, a memory of headstones. Lesser Perriwinkle is significant for the living as the source of vincamine, from the leaves. A synthetic form of this compound is a potent vasodilator, a therapeutic treatment for stroke and other brain disorders.

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.

Source: Wikipedia, “Vinca Minor.”

Click for a slideshow of this Fertile Flats sequence.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Ephemeral

Amphibian haven, breeding place

Melting snow, spring rains, gather in hollows of the forest floor to form ephemeral pools important for the development of amphibian life.

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Also named vernal pools, from the Latin word for spring or the time of the equinox. The pools are ephemeral in the sense of being temporary, disappearing in the warmer, dryer late spring and summer months, a characteristic important for amphibian live in being devoid of predatory fish.

Here the pool forms on a flat beneath the walls of Enfield Gorge. Here is another photograph featuring the ephemeral winter theme, “The Cave.”

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.

Sources: Wikipedia, “Vernal Pool” and Merriam Webster online.

Click for a slideshow of a few photographs published recently.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

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