Through a Veil

A Hemlock Curtain

Early April the Gorge Trail along Lucifer Falls is closed, here we look up to the falls in flood from a safe distance.

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The Rim Trail gate to the Cliff Stairs is open. We are headed that way.

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 macro slideshow.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Periwinkle

Source of life-saving drug

A broad, fertile flat between gorge walls supports a dense growth of invasive creeping myrtle. Springtime there is a sprinkling of small blue flowers, this may be the source of another name, periwinkle, or lesser periwinkle.

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Periwinkle is an evergreen and in early times vinca vine (another name we call it, from the scientific name Vinca Minor) was planted in graveyards and cemeteries. The isolated growth of vinca vine in this section of the gorge maybe from such a planting on a lost grave.

Today, the park practices leaving fallen trees in place, here they are covered in years of moss, a memory of headstones. Lesser Perriwinkle is significant for the living as the source of vincamine, from the leaves. A synthetic form of this compound is a potent vasodilator, a therapeutic treatment for stroke and other brain disorders.

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.

Source: Wikipedia, “Vinca Minor.”

Click for a slideshow of this Fertile Flats sequence.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Ephemeral

Amphibian haven, breeding place

Melting snow, spring rains, gather in hollows of the forest floor to form ephemeral pools important for the development of amphibian life.

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Also named vernal pools, from the Latin word for spring or the time of the equinox. The pools are ephemeral in the sense of being temporary, disappearing in the warmer, dryer late spring and summer months, a characteristic important for amphibian live in being devoid of predatory fish.

Here the pool forms on a flat beneath the walls of Enfield Gorge. Here is another photograph featuring the ephemeral winter theme, “The Cave.”

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.

Sources: Wikipedia, “Vernal Pool” and Merriam Webster online.

Click for a slideshow of a few photographs published recently.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Icicles!!

Key words: steep, icy

Water drips steadily from seeps, places water follows hidden cracks to emerge from the darkness. In warm seasons these may be a patch of moisture enabling the growth of ferns, only becoming evident when air is cold enough to freeze slowly running water.

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These macros capture the Moss, Fern and Lichen. These thrive in this environment.

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

Up the Rim Trail

Key words: steep, icy

It is the Gorge Trail that’s closed for the cold months, November through April. The Rim Trail remains open for those who dare icy, steep paths Unlike Gorge Trail, Rim Trail climbs above the dangerous cliffs from which rocks are wedged free by ice to fall on the trail. On an early spring day, after a sudden frost, we walked the Rim Trail to capture the moment.

Here is the steep start, climbing up from the Upper Park where a footbridge crosses Fish Kill. Kill is the old Dutch word for creek. Fish Kill mergers with Enfield Creek a few hundred feet downstream.

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This north facing slope stays frozen into May. Here layers of the sedimentary rock shale, laid down in a shallow warm sea over 350 million years ago, are slowly pried apart. Hemlock tree roots wedge between rock layers, slowly growing. The action of ice, water expands in volume at the point of freezing, aids the process.

In places the rock face appears to be a hastily made dry stone wall, the rock layers are so disrupted by plant and frost.

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

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