The Thaw at Taughannock Falls

A Friday Evening Stroll through a February Thaw

Pam and I were drawn outside the day after Valentine’s a bit of sun, an unreliable warm breeze, a promise of exercise. Our expectations were disappointed for all but the last at the foot of the Taughannock Falls gorge trail.

We had a reminder mid-February marks the start of avian mating behavior with this addition to the view from Taughannock Creek, the first large waterfall. For the cold, drizzly excursion I chose the IPhone, in a waterproof case, for the images. The fanicful birdhouse inscription reads “The Old Birds from Pa.”

Click the photograph for my “Finger Lakes Memories” Online gallery.

The winding gorge takes a general east, southeasterly direction. Where the sun cannot reach the snow was reduced to a treacherous slushy ice mix more nasty than dangerous.

View from the Overlook on the way to the trail. This is the endpoint of our hike, viewed from the gorge rim.

Of all the area hiking experiences, Taughannock Gorge Trail is the only one available year round. The gorge is wide with enough room for the footpath to avoid the cliff edge. Today, there were places were ice formations were throwing large ice chunks down the slope. The park ranges place tree trunks along the cliff base, with warning signs to stay away. Still, there are visitors who stray too close with fatal outcomes reported by local news.

Pam was fascinated by the appearance of snow and ice accumulated on the talus, here seen from the Taughannock Falls viewing bridge.

Click photograph for my “Finger Lakes Memories” online gallery. Photo by Pam.

You can just pick out the viewing bridge in the Falls Overlook video.

Click photograph for my “Finger Lakes Memories” Online Gallery.
Photo by Pam.

Taughannock Falls bound by ice is a most dramatic sight. I need to post photographs from a 2005 visit during an especially frigid February. Here, the falls have thrown off the ice, leaving this house-size chunk.

Click photograph for my “Finger Lakes Memories” Online Gallery

The surrounding gorge walls are continually frost coated by the mist.

Click the photograph for my “Finger Lakes Memories” Online Gallery
210 foot Taughannock Falls from the viewing bridge.

In more clement seasons the Gorge Trail ends much closer to the falls. Today, it was closed as, during winter and especially thaws, blocks of the sandstone cap break away to fall with great force across that part of the trail. This viewing area is visible in the Falls Overlook video.

Click Me for another Finger Lakes winter post.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

New Neighbors

Manufactured Home Installed Next Door

When Pam and I made Westwood Knoll our home in 2011, to the north, across the street, was an empty wooded lot that has since been subdivided into three of the last home sites in Ithaca. This summer, the corner lot was razed of all its trees, the lovely mature cherry, sycamore, ash, maple reduced to stumps to be cut up and carted away. There was a positive in that the lot was overgrown and unsightly, but every spring the upper reaches were masses of blooms and young green leaves.

In a heavy rain on September 5th, 2017 the two parts, call them “modules”, were delivered, and then sat until September 7th to be assembled in one day. The process itself was interesting to witness and, while being otherwise occupied, I came out now and then to document the progress.

Here are my photographs. What do you think? Please leave comments.

The Foundation
The foundation installation took a week to construct. It started with, literally, blocks of styrofoam held together with plastic and assembled by hand, like a child’s block set. There is an 8 inch gap in between filled with concrete. There was NO rebar used. bolts were inserted for attaching the modules.

How Module Two  was Hauled
Module Two was delivered on wheels and moved into position by this semi.

Module Two, the house next door
Module Two will eventually face the opposite direction. That will be the rear door. This is our swimming pool, I use garden hoses to siphon excess rainwater.

Construction Worker??
Most of the workers were dressed like this, casually, no protection for feet or head. We were concerned with this. No one was injured this day, as far as we know.

Another Construction Worker
The worker is standing on a board on which the crane wheels will rest.

Crane Boom End and Hooks
Crane Boom End with hooks in transport configuration. These are attached to the modules for positioning over and lowering onto the foundation.

A supervisor
This fellow arrived to take pictures from that smart phone.

Tracked Loader
A versatile tracked loader used throughout the foundation construction and module installation.

Worker and Hooks
A worker prepares the hooks for use. No head protection was a concern to us.

Support Blocks
Yellow blocks of metal used to support the crane.. A railing of Module One is above the truck, to left.

Hooks Prepared for Use
The red hook is ready.

Hooks ready to go.
The hooks hang free, ready to use.

Module One
This is where Module One was dumped on the side of the road on September 5th, two days before installation.

Module One and Construction Worker
We are looking here over the edge of our patio and landscaped yard to the site of module one, pre-installation, a worker approaching.

Module Two
The first step was to extricate module two from the mud and haul it up the street. A construction worker foreground, the boom of crane beyond.

Positioning Module Two
The semi backed Module Two into position, the crane boom and hooks loom.

The Company Responsible
The workers were considerate of our lawn. There was minimal damage. The modules installed this day looks nothing like this image.

Module Two Attached and Ready
From here Module Two will be lifted onto the foundation.

Workers Prepare Foundation.
Workers prepare foundation to receive Module Two while the unit is readied.

Module Two Lifted.
I see only the black hook is in use.

Another View of Module Two
Another View of Module Two with worker. That is the bottom of our driveway.

Module One with Construction Materials
Module One was delivered with construction materials inside.

Module One with Carrier and workers.
The porch and entry door of Module One with worker and rope. The worker needs to negotiate the carrier.

Pulling Module One Around
A 180 degree turn orients Module One to Module Two. The porch overhangs the foundation.

Positioning module one over foundation.

Worker Stands in Module Two
A worker observes from the interior of Module Two. Here is a closer view of the wire harness.

Final positioning of the module to form a whole structure.

Finished.
The roof panels are here lifted to a peak. The shingles and such in place for installation. These are the materials delivered inside Module One.

Copyright 2017 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Last Sunlight

A Waterfall in November

Summertime, reckless souls jump from the stone stairway into a cool water carved pool at the foot of these falls, one of my memories of the Treman Gorge Trail.

Click the link to learn more about this photograph’s story.