Summer Walk

Experience a hike around Taughannock Gorge on a summer morning with thunderstorms threatening

Constant winds from thunderstorm updrafts, I brought along an umbrella just in case.

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Taughannock Falls Gorge on a humid summer morning
Hemlock Forest on South Rim Trail
Taughannock Falls Gorge from South Rim Trail
Taughannock Falls from South Rim trail
View of Taughannock Falls Gorge from the North Rim trail on a humid summer (July) morning. Turkey Vultures circle overhead…they are there most summer days.
View of the first waterfall of Taughannock Gorge from the railroad bridge linking the North and South Rim trails on a humid summer (July) morning. This large waterfall empties to the gorge above the 210+ foot Taughannock Falls.
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Sycamores and Riparian Space

a Preview of Reavis Ranch

….continued from the chapter “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek.”

Compare these Arizona Sycamores with the struggling specimen from the last chapter, “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek.” Many Sycamores such as this one flourish along Reavis Creek, a perennial stream of the eastern Superstition Wilderness. The drainage that feeds Pine Creek is far less acreage than that of Reavis Creek and, when the Pine Creek flow fades in the driest seasons, plants go into survival mode and halt growth and may even slough off limbs to conserve water.

These Sycamores grace a stream that seldom stops flowing, even in the driest of seasons. I had the good fortune to visit the Reavis valley of the Superstition Wilderness in November 2007, when these trees were at peak autumn foliage.

The tree requires a supply of water to thrive. This specimen demonstrates the species growth habit growing multiple trunks with a shape driven by water availability and the environmental context. The multiple trunks may be a desert survival mechanism. In dry periods a trunk or trunks are sloughed off to reduce moisture loss. This is why the Sycamore of “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek” has a single trunk.”

To encounter a riparian space of the Arizona desert is a revelation, to progress from Sonoran desert spaces assailed by the breath of dry wind, to see the first signs of water in the distance as a welcome fluttering of leaves, to feel a welcome odor of water.

Yes, the first effect of a riparian space on the senses is the smell of water. Let’s finish this post with limbs of the Reavis Creek Arizona Sycamore reaching for the sky.

Click me for the next episode, “Desert Luxuries.”

Click me to visit Michael Stephen Wills Online Arizona Gallery.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Dawson’s Magnolia?

A 2021 Blessing

The Magnolia genus has been around for eons, come characteristics are protective from beetles as they existed before bees and relied upon beetles for fertilization. Our’s may be the species Magnolia dawsoniana (Dawson’s Magnolia), it shares many of the published characteristics: among them tolerance to our hardiness zone 5, flower color and shape, tree growth pattern.

This was an exceptional year for blooms. starting late April, lasting into May. The fence around trunks is for protection against bucks (male deer), from rubbing their horns in autumn.

For most of these 2021 photographs I used the lens Canon 24 mm f/1.4L II USM, the one captioned 50 mm I used Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV dslr with the Manfrotto Studio tripod with hydrostatic ball head for all.

The last great year was 2018……

For these 2018 photographs the Canon 24 mm and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L “Macro” lenses with Canon’s EOS-1Ds Mark III dslr.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Thayer Preserve Suite

recapitulation

On Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve, still pools become mirrors at low flow during a dry autumn.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 6

still

On Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve, still pools become mirrors at low flow during a dry autumn.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 5

maple leaves, mostly

Bedrock on which Lick Creek flows, formed 370 million years ago from sediment of a vast inland sea, is a soothing grey-blue backdrop to autumn leaves.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 4

movement

Maple leaves in varying states of decay.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 3

on display

Crisp maple leaves among hemlock roots on the bank of Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 2

Hemlock Roots

Crisp maple leaves among hemlock roots on the bank of Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

Thayer Preserve: Autumn Still Life 1

color pallet

Crisp maple leaves among hemlock roots on the bank of Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve

Click photograph for larger view. Use combination keys to enlarge/reduce: Ctrl+ (Control / Plus) and Ctrl- (Control / Minus)
Click to view my Finger Lakes photographs on Getty.
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will