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

Taughannock Gorge Trail late winter hike

sights during a 4 mile hike on icy trails around Taughannock Gorge

Wednesday afternoon this week my exercise was a 4 mile hike around the Taughannock Falls Gorge on the north and south rim trail. I parked at the Overlook and took in a view of Taughannock Falls in the gorge below.

The video and pics are from my Apple IPhone.

I then headed south on the North Rim Trail. It was slow going because the trail was solid ice in many places. Throughout the walk was evidence of the great work of the park maintence crew preparing for spring.

A bridge over the creek transitions from the North to South Rim trails. Here is an overview of the dramatic site below this bridge.

The trail ice forced me off onto the Gorge Road that parallels the trail. Even without the ice, a portion of the trail is closed for the winter due to dangerous conditions. There are interesting sites along this road.

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Walking downhill only this medium-sized bark is visible, the road curves around to bring into view a tiny farmhouse, now abondoned, dwarfed by the barn.

I took a detour to explore a small cemetery just off Gorge Road on a shelf above the Taughannock Farms Inn.

Overview of this small cemetery overlooking Cayuga Lake

The lower falls is another worthy detour before I rejoined the Rim trail to climb up the north side of the gorge.

One of many Rim Trail overlooks. That is the Gorge Trail, below.

In this approximate 4 miles there is a 2088 foot change in altitude (1044 up and down). I took my time for an enjoyable 2 hours.

Click to visit my Finger Lakes Memories online gallery.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Lucifer Falls on an Autumn Evening

celebrate Halloween on Lucifer Falls

 

Lucifer Falls from Rim Trail Overlook
The full sweep of Lucifer Falls on an autumn evening, the sun hidden behind the gorge walls. Here the Gorge Trail emerges from the shelter of the gorge, emerging into a dizzying view.

A reader’s comment to this blog, thank you “Urban Liaisons” prompted me to explore the word, Lucifer. “Lucifer”, in Christian tradition, refers to the devil as it was in a time of glory before the fall from grace. The original, ancient meaning of Lucifer is the planet Venus as it rises just before the sun at dawn.  In this sense, the name refers to the bright beauty of the spot.  The effect is heightened at midday when the hiker passes from the relative gloom of Devils Kitchen to the full light and sweep of the waterfall chasm.

Standing next to the falls on the Gorge Trail, the stone wall of the Rim Trail Overlook is overpowered by the grandeur of the 300+ foot cliff. The falls photographs were taken from behind the wall.

Lucifer Falls Overlook from the Gorge Trail
The cliff topped by the Rim Trail Overlook wall.

Occasionally, we have experienced individuals climbing over the wall to stand on the other side. “Why?”

Summertime thick stands of tiger lilies flourish on the cliff face. Can you find the withered leaves?

Lucifer Falls from Rim Trail Overlook
The Rim Trail includes this overlook of Lucifer Falls with, upstream, the Devil’s Kitchen waterfall, the walway of the Gorge Trail in between.

This session I finally “cracked” the puzzle of the Devil’s Kitchen Waterfall. I posted the results to the online gallery yesterday, for your enjoyment. Click the link to go there.

Click link for my fine art print “Devils Kitchen.”

Copyright 2017 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved