Late May, South Rim Trail

Dangerous Practices

Today, I have a companion post to “A Summer Flower and Waterfalls” from a time of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from a walk cut short by inconsiderate people not following New York laws.

All photographs and videos are from an Apple IPhone 7.

Here is a long and close shot of Columbine Flowers thriving on the edge of a gorge cliff.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

With a video of the movement of this wildflower against a backdrop of flowing water over a 100 feet below.

Click for better experience viewing the following videos. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

A scan of the upper gorge with some marvelous clouds.

Continuing onto the forest trail I spotted this Jack-In-The-Pulpit. Here is a photograph and short video.

My walk this day was cut short by joggers, unmasked, on the narrow trail. For each I stepped off to put 6 feet between us. So inconsiderate and unnecessary, selfish.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing II

Lower Waterfall

This series of posts opens with the ascent to where the wildflowers grow.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

After just a taste of the climb to come, hikers are treated to an view of the Lower Falls of Enfield Creek. I call them the Wedding Cake. Summertime, a dam is erected, the water is deep enough to dive into the very cold creek water, lower than 70 degrees.

The trail is on a beetling crag.

Looking up Enfield Glen above the falls. Up to the trail, keeping distance was no problem. It is nowhere near as crowded as the trail to Taughannock Falls in February.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

A Little Water Fall…

…and Gorge Cliffs

Purling of the water beneath this foot high waterfall was enhanced by reducing ISO to 100, tamping down the aperture to f/22 resulting in an shutter speed of 1/10th second. I set the graduated Neutral Density filter to shade the left side.

On the cliffs ahead is where the observation platform is cut into the rock. It has a great view of the waterfall, in some ways the experience of the falls is enhanced, compared to hiking the 3/4 mile path and standing below.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

A marvelous forest grows on talus from the high gorge walls.

A sign on a disused pier warns waders to leave the creek bed. Ahead the gorge walls tower above the creek. Rocks dislodge and crash down unexpectedly, crushing foolish waders. It is appalling to see, in warmer months, people walking below those cliffs gathering the fallen rocks to make delicately balanced cairns.

Here is a slide show from today and two prior postings. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Big Bend

A tripod and Neutral Density filter

Wednesday, this week, I posted “Winter People Watching” featuring the Sony F828 and candid street photography. Today, is a continuation of a followup, started yesterday, with “End of the Gorge Trail.”

What I love about this place, a unique feature, is the size and different vantage points making it possible to view the same place from different angles. November 2019, readers were shown “The Bend,” a place with Taughannock gorge makes a 90 degree turn, changing from a southeastern to an eastern flow. Here are photographs from spot overlooked by that post.

Here the camera faces away from the sun, the graduated neutral density filter allowing me to capture the cloudless blue sky, a little milky the way it is here February with a hint of spring.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

This little one is studying the information placard with rapt attention, learning how the African continent, pushing against North America, across the eaons, formed the right angle fractures mirrored by this dramatic change in Taughannock Gorge. For the Big Bend photographs I was standing behind them, along the stream bed.

Here is a broader slice of that sky.

Can you see the tiny figures of hikers, dwarfed by the frozen cliff?

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

End of the Gorge Trail

A tripod and Neutral Density filter

Yesterday I posted “Winter People Watching” featuring the Sony F828 and candid street photography. With the Sony F828 in hand, I carried on my shoulder a new camera bag with a new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV dslr camera, mounted with a Canon 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens with a graduated 0.6 Neutral Density filter. On my other shoulder was a Manfrotto BeFree GT carbon fiber tripod.

Saturday, February 22nd was a first outing with the new equipment. I was still learning the camera and, in my inexperience, did not shoot in “raw” format and the jpeg sizing was not the largest. The conditions are never very good within the gorge, either the sun is below the rim and light sparse, or the gradient between the lit and shaded gorge too great, or the sun is almost overhead.

The graduated neutral density filter solves some of this problem for Taughannock Falls, 215 feet high, the highest single drop east of the rockies. The view faces south, in the northern hemispheres, wintertime, this means shooting into the sun. For our late afternoon walk the sun disk was below the west cliff rim, still there is a large gradient between the sky and shaded falls / gorge.

The falls await hikers at the end of the Gorge Trail. I am standing on a bridge over the creek. To the right is a path to an observation platform. At f/22 fstop atop the tripod and low light, this is a longish exposure.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Standing on the platform, visitors are washed over by the fine mist carried by a wind pushed by the falling water. The mist clings to the gorge walls and freezes. Today, on the bridge, we were dry. I pointed the lens at Taughannock Creek flowing beneath this bring for this second, longish, exposure. The graduated ND filter was not optimal for this shot. It is a circular filter (can be turned 360 degrees), using this I positioned the shading to the left. Of course, for the waterfall, the shading in over the upper, sky, portion.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

So Like A Christmas Tree

Icicles Catch The Light

Approaching the Cliff Stair after a sudden April frost.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Lucifer Falls in spring flood is a constant roar.

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

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.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

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

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.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

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.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

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.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

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