Tag Archive | outdoors

Falling for Taughannock ~

This past Monday (my day off) I decided to take the day and make a photo excursion of it… all by myself.  I’ve been wanting to try new ways of capturing waterfalls using various shutter speeds and aperture settings, and I thought the always-intriguing Taughannock Falls near Ithaca, NY, would be a nice challenge.  I’m looking to get that slowed motion look rather than stop-action, so off I went with camera bag full of everything I have, plus my tripod to help me get those special effects.  It was nearly 50 miles to the Taughannock Falls State Park, and I enjoyed the ride through wine country and along Cayuga Lake as the sun shone brightly at 8:30 a.m. when I left on my journey.  Even though I knew in the back of my head that I needed more cloudy conditions for what I was looking for, I hoped for the best and headed south.

Before heading to the falls area, I visited the “lake side” area of the park, across the street from the falls (across Highway Route 89).  There were the offices there, and a much-needed restroom before I would start my “journey” to the falls.  But there were also photo opportunities that I took advantage of.  Then I re-parked in the falls lot and loaded myself up for the walk.

Mind you, it’s “only” 3/4 of a mile back to the falls along very nicely kept trails.  I stopped at the lower falls first and tried taking some of my “specialty shots”, to no avail.  I think it was too sunny.  But I spent several minutes trying many different settings before I lost faith and turned to go to the main falls.  I knew, for me, this would be a challenging walk, as I’m not in ideal physical condition ~ being well overweight, bad knees, bad back… but I had a good attitude, and was looking forward to going at my own pace for a change, and enjoying the woodsy outdoors after being cooped up all winter.  I had nothing else on my agenda for the day, and decided to take my time and moreso.  (if you click on a pic, it’ll bring it up to full size)

There were few people and far between during my journey.  But I enjoyed the solace and just the sounds of the rushing waters and some birds of prey circling and flying over the water far above.  I did have to stop at several strategically-placed benches for a brief rest, then I continuted on and finally reached my destination.  I was the only one there.  I walked as far up the trail as I could until there was no trail left, but the roaring falls right in front of me.  Click – click, more pictures.  I surveyed the gorge around me and noticed those raptors were nesting in the sides of the cliffs.  I sat in silence for awhile, then gathered up my things and headed back the 3/4 mile from which I’d come.

I don’t think I’d even gotten out of sight of the falls when I misstepped on a small rock and almost fell on my face on the trail.  I heard this LOUD crunching in my foot and then the shooting pain that accompanied and immediately I jumped onto my left foot to take the weight off the pain.  I’ll never forget that sound!  Loud enough so I heard it over the falls!  I quickly looked for someplace to sit, but the nearest bench was maybe a few hundred feet down the path.  I tried to put my foot down, but it was futile.  I steadied myself enough to get my tripod into position to be used as a walking stick, then I set off  v-e-r-y    s-l-o-w-l-y taking tiny, baby steps and just dealing with the pain.  What else was I going to do?  No cell service.  There had been a couple of couples and a pair of women with some toddler children come and gone.  I didn’t figure there was anyone to help, so I just sucked it up and walked imperceptably slow.  It was going to be a LONG walk back.

And, indeed, it was!  It took me 75 minutes to limp that 3/4 mile!  But I was never so happy to see those lower falls and the highway, then the parking lot and my car!  After all is said and done, it was not so bad as a sprain, but I just seemingly tore all or most of the tendons in the top of my foot.  Two days later, with the help of an Ace bandage, I’m still limping but well on the mend.  I did stop and sit in the car for a bit, and I prayed and thanked God that I’d made it back and that it wasn’t so serious.  And I thanked Him for giving me the opportunity to see all that I did and enjoy what He’d created.  Something so simple as looking up at the blue sky through the trees has new meaning for me.  It’s amazing the life lessons you can get out of an injured foot!

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time… TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

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Snow Geese on Cayuga Lake ~

After Friday morning’s jaunt out to Cayuga Lake State Park to photograph the wildlife gathering there, I decided to take another crack at it today ~ only this time I went out at dinner time, and Al went with me.

 

Snow Geese Cayuga Lake 2

The lake was, yet again, inundated with white snow geese, as well as Canadian geese and a variety of ducks.  However, like before, they were all engaged in the middle of the lake ~ quite a distance away for me to test my optical zoom.  This time, I remembered to bring my winter gloves (fingertip optional), and I set up my tripod on the boat launch and watched.  It was still bitter cold as the wind whipped.  The mass of white geese looked like a strip of white snow on the center of the lake, and they all moved as one.  I looked away for a second, and when I looked back they had all begun to lift ~ all at the same time!  What an incredible sight!

Snow Geese Cayuga Lake 3

The above photo is a bit blurry, as I think the wind caught it a little bit and/or it shook from my trembling cold hands!  But you can clearly see the black tipped wings of the snow geese.  There was another photographer out there when I got there, and when he saw what I saw, I thought he was going to have a coronary right there!

 

Snow Geese Cayuga Lake 1

 

Here’s a look at them as they pass overhead.  They were honking up a storm ~ a very different sound than the Canadian goose.

 

Snow Geese CayugaLake 3-17-13 017

 

These two uncharacteristically lagged behind (maybe they were secretly “Graylag geese”).  Anyway, the flight of the flock didn’t last for long.  It seems they just lifted themselves for a bit to get more comfortable, then they settled back down for the evening.  Those few seconds that they filled the sky over Cayuga Lake were sure exciting!

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

Waterfall Wanderlust ~

 

Not sure why, of late I’ve turned my photographic attentions to water ~ particularly waterfalls or swift-moving water.  My fascination with this subject matter only lasts through the Winter months, then it’s on to something more colorful & stimulating in the Spring and Summer.  Until then, I have been dragging my good-sport-of-a-husband around with me on waterfall-hunting weekends (such as this morning).  Fortunately, he indulges me willingly and with good cheer.

Today’s romp netted me approximately 85-90 photos at (4) different falls locations within 25 miles of my home.  The furthest away was Marcellus Falls, in Marcellus, NY.

Marcellus Falls, Marcellus NY

Marcellus Falls, Marcellus NY

 

There were several different spots in which I was able to get photos, but this seemed to be the most “active”.

Next we decided to take a turn back and head closer to home, so we headed for the Skaneateles Falls area between Skaneateles, NY and Jordan/Elbridge, NY. 

"Bean Chute" in Skaneateles Creek, Skaneateles Falls, NY

“Bean Chute” in Skaneateles Creek, Skaneateles Falls, NY

 

Closeup of "Bean Chute" in Skaneateles Creek, Skaneateles Falls, NY

Closeup of “Bean Chute” in Skaneateles Creek, Skaneateles Falls, NY

 

The two pictures above are of what is locally known as a “bean chute” ~ thought to be in Skaneateles Creek.  It is very secluded, off the beaten path, and known mostly to locals within a 10-15 miles radius of the location.  You have to drive up a particular dead end street, and when you get to the end, you must park and go in by foot for about a half mile through woods, open field and more woods that enclose the creek.  It’s a favorite local “swimming hole” and is very popular in the summer.  Al and I have visited and taken our kids many times some years ago.  The entire “creek” is encased with cement, so when you start at the top, you can slide all the way down and over the various falls to the very bottom where a 36′ pool awaits your splash.  It’s like a giant cement water slide!  With trees on either side, it’s shaded yet still very warm/refreshing in the summer.  I have a photo (somehwere) of me and my youngest daughter, Katie, sitting in these very falls letting the water splash over us as we laugh.  Al and I would take our chaise lounge chairs and sit them at the bottom in the pool and relax while Brian & Katie slid down the chute.  Lots of good memories here!

Skaneateles Creek in Skaneateles Falls, NY

Skaneateles Creek in Skaneateles Falls, NY

 

Above, one more photo of Skaneateles Creek in Skaneateles Falls, NY.  This, of course, is a different area of the creek than the bean chute.  Skaneateles Creek runs for miles and miles, winding and curving all over.  Lots of opportunities for some awesome water photos abound.

Till next time, thanks for looking.  TTFN ~   Tamara Eckstadt

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Your 2012 Outdoors and Nature

 

First Fun Foto Challenge of 2013 and its’s a good one!  Thanks, Cee!

Ducks huddle together on the edge of the iced over Erie Canal near Camillus, NY

Ducks huddle together on the edge of the iced over Erie Canal near Camillus, NY

Snowmobiler on the Erie Canal Trail, near Jordan, NY

Snowmobiler on the Erie Canal Trail, near Jordan, NY

That water looks cold!  Creekside near Memphis, NY

That water looks cold! Creekside near Memphis, NY

CSX train headed straight for me

CSX train headed straight for me

Little  bird on our suet feeder

Little bird on our suet feeder

Spectacular Triumph Rocket III

Spectacular Triumph Rocket III

Dickens characters ring the bell for the Salvation Army.

Dickens characters ring the bell for the Salvation Army.

Fall in Syracuse, NY

Fall in Syracuse, NY

Fall in downtown Syracuse, NY

Fall in downtown Syracuse, NY

Red Oak Tree planted for a child lost.

Red Oak Tree planted for a child lost.