Father’s Day Visit to Fall Creek Gorge

McGraw Tower Bell Concert

Walking up University Avenue toward Lib Slope, listening to the noon concert from the McGraw Tower carillion (a tuned set of bells), below the Johnson Museum turn left onto a footpath, follow to the steep trail down to the Gorge Overlook along Fall Creek. Look up at the suspension bridge and water powered electric plant. Climb back, turn right and down to Stewart Avenue for the view of Fall Creek Gorge, Cayuga Lake, the former studio of Carl Sagan, built into the gorge wall. In researching this topic I learned Google Maps shows the trail and you can “walk” the trail, Google brought the camera down into the gorge.

An IPhone 7 and video editing software were used for this post.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Dennis-Newton House National Historic Place

first photographs for a recent National Registry of Historic Places listing

Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 is a contest that closed September 30, 2017.

Click for Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 contest

The National Register of Historic Place # 16000590, the Dennis-Newton House of Ithaca, New York is a recent listing, dated September 6, 2016.  In researching potential for the Wiki contest, I discovered this place was absent a photograph.  Seizing the opportunity, I grabbed these photographs the same session as the suppressed Ithaca Pottery Site, published in my blog in April.

The location was a revelation, around the corner and a few blocks down from our son and daughter-in-law’s house where they are raising three (of our 12) grandchildren, across the street from where the children take swim lessons.  Parking in downtown Ithaca is incredibly coveted and I was not motivated to shoot during the golden hour where cars would, maybe, not be parked out front and the light perfect for the west-facing façade.

Dennis-Newton House Street Frontage

Click this link for my On Line gallery, “Finger Lakes Memories.”

Above is the street frontage of 421 N. Albany Street, Ithaca, New York, a home privately owned.  The house is as originally constructed and considered the birthplace of Cornell’s Alpha Phi Alpha, the first Greek letter, African-American collegiate fraternity established from this location in 1907.

Named for the original owner, Norman Dennis who built it around 1870 and a later owner, Edward Newton, who is directly connected with the early years of Alpha Phi Alpha; the house was recently renovated with a building permit still posted in the porch window, partially obstructed by glare.

The frontage view is partially obstructed by a Black Maple (Acer nigrum) and provides shade from the afternoon sun.

Dennis-Newton House Door, Porch

To compensate for the time of day, the tree and parked cars I captured interesting details of the front porch.  The time was day was perfect for photographing these and, in the golden hour, will be unevenly illuminated.  Note the elegant door glass panels, solid wood door and trim with original porcelain and metal door knobs and lock.  Porch trim includes decorative brackets, spandrels, posts.

Dennis-Newton House Porch, Window

Click this link for my On Line gallery, “Finger Lakes Memories.”

Here is a different angle on the porch trim to include the porch’s fancy balusters and rails.  The decorative head on the window is wonderful. The private owner recently renovated the property, there is a building permit still posted in the window.

Much of the information for this blog came from this web page.

In preparation for shooting, I mounted the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens on the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II body.  The frontage and second porch shots were at 70mm, 1/200 second, ISO 1,000, f/7.1.   The middle shot, of the door, was 1/250 second at f/5.0.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

First Balloon Sighting

Always surprising and a wonder

Pam and I enjoyed the local hot air balloon for the first time in 2021 floating directly in front of our home, along the valley formed by hills on the east and west, headed north toward Cayuga Lake and descending steadily, looked to have landed close by. I heard the “whoosh, whoosh” of the gas burner first and distinct from a jet landing at Tompkins County airport. Always a thrill to see one up close.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Ithaca Pottery National Historic Place

finding a suppressed location

Wiki Loves Monuments was a contest that closed September, 2017.

Click for Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 contest

The National Register of Historic Places, online, lists the Ithaca Pottery Site(# 79001635) as “address restricted”.   There is no photograph published for the site either on the register or Wikipedia.  Here is an opportunity and a mystery.  Where is the suppressed location of this historic place?  There is the opportunity of completing the record by capturing a photograph.

There is another online reference listing the site as 423 E. Lincoln Street.  The site is “I Love the Finger Lakes”,

I researched the physical location of the site and found it to be in a historically industrial area of Ithaca, close to Ithaca Falls.  The correspondence I found online named Ezra Cornell as the owner when the pottery concern was active.  He donated the land for Cornell University and the location is consistent with his ownership.  There is a large wooded lot behind the building.

Last week I visited the address and guess the best light was the morning, returned yesterday to acquire the photograph.  There was a knoll across Lake Street that gave this view.  There are conflicting elements in this photograph:  the far hills are beautiful, the pole with wires very difficult to remove.  Also, the address is not visible.

Ithaca Pottery from the Knoll
Click link for my fine art gallery.

The street passing left to right is Lake Street.  Crossing lake street I took several shots, negotiating the light traffic to eventually stand in Lake Street for this shot.

Ithaca Pottery from Lake Street

In preparation for shooting, I mounted the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens on the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II body.  This shot was at 70mm, 1/200 second, ISO 1,000, f/7.1.   I hated the power lines and could not avoid them from any acceptable angle.

The only solution was to spend hours in Photoshop to achieve the result in the header.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Meadow Stream, winter 3

Meadow Idyll

Snow under the gathering light of February, edges rounded by sunlight. Can you identify the animal tracks?

You can easily view a higher resolution versions this image. Click on it to open a browser tab.

Click any photograph for a larger version.

Overflow from a Kettle Pond threads through a meadow before feeding Fall Creek. The O.D.von Engeln Preserve at Malloryville.

All were from a tripod mounted Kodak DSC pro SLR-C with the Canon lens EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Meadow Stream, winter 2

Meadow Idyll

The glacial marls through which this water flows to emerge here clear and pure were under threat from development in the 1980’s and 1990. Thanks to the efforts of the landowner, the uniqueness of this environment was preserved.

You can easily compare a higher resolution versions of each image by clicking on each photograph to open a browser tab for each. Flip between the tabs to compare the images. Which do you prefer?

The first two photographs are combined and enhanced in photoshop to yield the third, combination, photograph.

Click any photograph for a larger version.
Winter Shadows
Winter Shadows

All were from a tripod mounted Kodak DSC pro SLR-C with the Canon lens EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Winter Shadows
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Meadow Stream, winter

Meadow Idyll

This water emerges from glacial marls, pure and clear, before flowing into a kettle pond. Here we see it on a winter afternoon meandering across a meadow before joining the Fall Creek of the previous postings of this week.

You can easily compare a higher resolution versions of each image by clicking on each photograph to open a browser tab for each. Flip between the tabs to compare the images. Which do you prefer.

The first two are the same photograph. One has been enhanced in Photoshop. The other was perfected in Lightroom. The third is a different photograph taken about the same time, also peracted in Lightroom.

Click any photograph for a larger version.
Winter Shadows
Winter Shadows

All were from a tripod mounted Kodak DSC pro SLR-C with the Canon lens EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Winter Shadows
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Frozen Fall Creek III

Across the years into a future

Gratitude for miracles witnessed is my emotion for this series, “Frozen Fall Creek.” Thirteen winters after Pam and I walked Fall Creek as a solid walking path, the stream flows without ice most years. My son, whose family now lives in the house, and his wife recalling walking the creek a few years ago, not in the past few years.

Weather records support our recollections and observations: here is an analysis of Ithaca January temperatures. The years 2009 through 2019 show a warming trend in daily temperatures for both minimum and maximum.

Analysis

Excel I used to plot minimum and maximum temperatures (farenheit) for the 31 days of each January for eleven years 2009 – 2019. Click on the images of this post for a larger version.

Click any image for a larger view.

Forecast

Pam and I moved to Ithaca 2011 and missed our Fall Creek winter walks, miss them even more now our weekend excursions are only memories. Here are January minimum/maximum average daily temperature projections from 2020 through 2044 based on the trend established from the 2009 through 2019 series. The trend is the solid color, projection the faded color.

Reading from the chart, if the current trend continues by January 2044 the average maximum daily temperature will be 47 degrees compared to 29 for 2009. In other words, the temperature never rose above freezing in the year 2009. By 2044 temperatures will be above freezing every day, on average, with daily minimums averaging 21 degrees.

From what I read, we can expect these warming trends to accerate within our lifetimes. My son named small mid-creek hummocks “islands” with numbers. Here is a view of his Second Island in late summer. What will Second Island be in 2044 late summer?

Late Summer 2018, second island

Memories

Reader of posts I and II of this series have commented about snow shadows. Here are the shadows produced from snow fallen on the vegetation of the last photograph: soft mounds to contrast with tree trunk shadows.

Click any photograph for a larger version.
Winter 2009, second island

I prefer the composition of the following photograph. What do you think?

Play of winter shadows

A combination of contrasting shadow forms.

Low Winter Sun
Click me for the first post of this series, “Frozen Fall Creek I.”
Click me for “Fall Creek Winter,” another stunning scene.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Frozen Fall Creek II

Natural Ice Sculpture

My last post, “Frozen Fall Creek I”, ended with macros of Ice Crystals on a bed of frost over creek ice within sight of our former home, a restored water mill. I continued on the ice, following the creek to this spot were the stream bed turns 90 degrees, changing from a southerly to a western flow.

Here I encountered an open course where constant water motion resisted freezing. A few frigid days later, the course had an amazing transformation.

Click any photograph for a larger version.
Last To Freeze, Fall Creek

The transparent ice of the now frozen space retained the impression of movement, the surface rippled by current. In the following photograph, motionless ice crystals reveal the truth.

Ice Crystals on Water Frozen while Supercooled

In the intervening days, the constant motion resisted freezing while the water temperature dropped well past freezing to achieve a supercooled state. As the water temperature continued to drop, a fast transition from fluid to solid happened so quickly the movement of the water surface was preserved.

Ice Crystals on Water Frozen while Supercooled

Here is the matching “after” photograph to the “before” that started this post.

Channel of Water Frozen while Supercooled
Click me for “Fall Creek Winter,” another stunning scene.
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Frozen Fall Creek I

Ice Crystals

Click any photograph for a larger version.
Winter Shadows
Ice Crystals
Ice Crystal Macro I
Ice Crystal Macro II
Ice Crystal Macro III
Click me for the next post in this series, “Frozen Fall Creek II.”
Click me for another Winter Series starting with “The Fang?”
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills