Last Hike

A sllideshow

Thank You for exploring the South Rim trail of Taughannock Falls State Park on the last perfectly sunny autumn day of 2019.

A sunny November Walk

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Click me for the first post of this series, “Cuteness Break.”

Lone Elm

Among Hemlocks

A Rock Elm, late to turn in autumn, stands among a hemlock grove on the South Rim Trail of Taughannock Falls Park, Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

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Rock Elm Autumn

Taughannock Gorge south rim trail passes close to Gorge Road at one point. Rock Elm is an understory tree that comes into its own late autumn.

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November Star

Elms thrive in the understory, turning late to catch autumn sunlight.

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Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Leaf Carpet

A Natural Wonder

Wednesday last I enjoyed shuffling along a forest carpet along the South Rim Trail of Taughannock Falls Park. It is a lost pleasure now the first snow is with us.

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Photographs in Gallery

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Views from the Bench I

No Pun Intended

Some sights from last post.

Moss on the edge of upper Taughannock Gorge cliff, with the falls in background far below.

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The last flower of autumn, a single bloom of Ironweed.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

On the Edge

An Autumn Revalation

After leaf fall abrupt emptiness of Taughannock Falls is visible from the south rim. Beyond, you can just make out the enormous carved limestone slabs that protect visitors from the constant infall from the gorge walls allowing them to approach the falls.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Glowing Leaves

Holding On

The oak holds tight to leaves, sometimes until spring when new growth pushes last year’s off. Here is a cluster on a bright November afternoon hanging above the South Rim trail of Taughannock Falls Park of the New York State Finger Lakes Region.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Quaker Settlement Series 2

Gone too soon

Joseph P. Lee, a middle aged gentleman with carvings of a mature willow flanked by urns. In the intervening 162 years the upper layers of slate flake at the edges.

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Rhoda Ann Mattison, a wife who died too young. What was the relationship of James and Rhoda to Catherine and John?

The carving is a pineapple (for hospitality) set in a elegant vase on a plinth flanked by ionic columns, a simple arch (banded to imply a rainbow?) surmounts all. Cross hatching implies space. An implied eternal banding of stylized leaves as starbursts.

I brought out the characteristic slate coloring. There is evidence of ware from the intervening 197 years, though the carving is surprising crisp.

Slideshow of photographs in this series

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Quaker Settlement Series 1

Delving the past

On my way to Taughannock Falls, November 6, 2019 (see my post “Cuteness Break”, the first of that series) I explored a different route and came up this cemetery set among an appealing pine grove.

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Located in the town of Ulysses, New York there is a Quaker Settlement church a few feet further west on Perry City Road. I have Quaker ancestors, so took the opportunity to peruse the family names. The stones were unusually beautiful and touching, mostly local slate, some with intricate carvings.

Here is a headstone for two young people of the same family name. The white marble carved in the form of a willow, from the flowing lines and, knowing how our willows green up springtime, it calls to mind the same youthful greening as appropriate for two young people who lived 22 and 15 years.

Analysis of the dates, given in the following capture, tells the story of an young woman, a baby born 5 months after her death and who followed his aunt 15 years later.

I have a great aunt who also died young with a headstone naming her mother and father. Here is the granite headstone of Mary R. Daughter of George & Margarett Wills Died Oct. 3, 1886 Aged 20 years. Saint Mary of Assumption Cemetery, Sweetwater, New Jersey. My grandfather James Edward Wills was 9 years old at his sister Mary’s passing. He must have attended her church service and internment, standing at this spot.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills