Summer Pools

Gorge Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park

I had not been back to the Ithaca gorges since my amazing trip last October. Once the leaves had started to bud on the trees this Spring I have been waiting for the right opportunity. Although the state parks have been open, most of the trails I hike for pictures have been closed. Not this weekend!

I actually have been planning to make this trip for a couple of weeks but circumstances had prevented me from being able to go. Not this weekend! I kept checking the weather app all week monitoring the conditions. Sunday appeared to be the day and as the weekend crept closing, the odds kept increasing in my favor. Everything was a go!

I planned on being at the first park by 7am so I was determined to leave the apartment on time. Alarm set, no snooze, get up and feed the boys (3 cats!). Pack everything I would need cause it was going to be a hot one. Extra clothes, extra socks, a second pair of hiking shoes, water, snacks, and anything else I would need to stay mobile and capturing pictures. I was going to make a day of it and visit as many of the gorges as possible.

Buttermilk Falls State Park was first on my list. It had to be. It is my favorite destination in Ithaca. I was the first car in the upper parking lot. The lower section of the park is the preferred destination for most families, but for me the upper gorge trail is where all the images are located. The trail was empty. I only saw one other person the hour and a half I was in the gorge.

This image is the first stopping point on the gorge trail. You can spot a small section of stairs along the ridge above the small waterfall in the back of the image. The trail loops around to the right of the image and there is a landing area before the stairs continue down deeper into the gorge. This is usually a tricky image to capture due to the high contrast of the dark gorge walls and the morning sun on the trees. I believe it rained a little the night before as the walls were still wet causing a lot of reflections. Even with the circular polarizer I could not remove all of the light reflections.


MLCreations Photography: Buttermilk Falls &emdash; Summer Pools

Summer Pools
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 6s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200


After Buttermilk Falls I drove to Robert H. Treman State Park. I should have checked the state park website better. The swimming area was undergoing repairs due to flooding and any photo opportunities of the lower falls were lost. I drove to the upper section of the park and hiked to Lucifer Falls. Again, very few people in the park early in the morning but by 9:30am the trails were starting to get crowded.

My next stop was to be Mulholland Wildflower Preserve which has Wells Falls across the road. The parking area was full! I was a little disappointed but there are plenty of opportunities in Ithaca. I tried Cascadilla Gorge but again, there was no parking near the start of the trail and when I drove by it appeared to be getting crowded as well. OK, still not an issue…

Maybe I stop at a few places as I work my way back home. I typed in Tinker’s Falls in the GPS and headed out. The parking area was not very crowded yet, that was a good sign. What I didn’t plan for was the volume of water. Tinker’s Falls doesn’t normally have a lot of water and yesterday it was almost non-existent. No worries. I used the opportunity to hike to the overlook area and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the Labrador Hollow area (picture to follow). I thought going up the 2 mile trail was tough, coming back down is actually harder.

OK, a lot of choices for my next stop but based on the water flow I was seeing in the parks I thought Chittenango Falls would be perfect. I had to stop at a friends house in Cazenovia to deliver a picture to him and it was already 1pm, this plan made sense. Except everyone was at the park! No big deal, I’ll have to wait for an opportunity to capture my photograph but it would be manageable. And then I read the sign when I stopped to get my ticket, the gorge trail was closed for renovations. Again, I should have read the park website better…

Maybe it was time to go back home. I had walked about 13,000 steps already and I knew I was going to feel this the next day. Plus, I could feel my frustration level rising and I didn’t want to ruin the good adventures I already experienced. There will be more weekends…

Under the Weather

Floral, Daisy, Macro

It has returned! My macro lens is back on the camera!

The Olympus repair center notified me on Wednesday that they had completed the repair and the lens was on its way back to me. I was surprised when it showed up at my door yesterday before lunch. It was a little difficult to not “be sick” in the afternoon but I made it through the day, had dinner and immediately went out in search of some macro subjects.

My time exploring with the returned lens was going to be short, dark clouds were working their way toward the city from the southeast. As I was photographing the daisies I could hear the thunder approaching. I didn’t want to be caught out in the rain as the macro lens is not weather sealed so after a half hour of testing the “new” lens I went back to the apartment. About fifteen minutes after returning home the rain started.

It didn’t matter to me. The repair center had replaced the base barrel, adjusted all the functions and gave it a good cleaning. She is like new and working perfectly. Definitely cheaper than having to buy a replacement and surprisingly it did not take a long time. I might need to see about sending out a few of my older lenses for a good cleaning and adjustment…


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Under the Weather

Under the Weather
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/400s, f/4, ISO 200


Low Bridge, Everybody Down

Mill St. Bridge, Bellamy Harbor Park


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Low Bridge, Everybody Down

Low Bridge, Everybody Down
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/13s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200


Delta Reflections

Delta Lake State Park

We all know I have a “thing” for a reflection. If I can incorporate a reflection into the image, the odds are good I will. The odds increase whenever I’m at Delta Lake, and they go through the roof when there is no wind at sunset.

Sunday evening the clouds had taken over the sky. I had a good thirty minutes until the official time of sunset but I was determined to stick it out and see what developed. It didn’t hurt I was joined at my spot on the beach by a grandmother and her two grandchildren. We chatted away the minutes, pointing out the changing colors as the sun marched into the horizon.

We were desperately hoping the sun would break through the clouds at the last minute and illuminate the trees at the edge of the point. I had managed a single image earlier when the color in the sky was a little flat. I really wanted another chance as the sky turned magenta. Alas, it was not meant to be…

My determination to see trees shine did allow me to capture the changing color reflected in the clouds. All in all, it was a good end to the day.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; On the Edge

On the Edge
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/8s, 25mm, f/11, ISO 200


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; See it in the Sky

See it in the Sky
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/6s, 25mm, f/11, ISO 200

Just Up Ahead

Delta Lake State Park

The day started off by attempting to set a new record for low temperature. Mother Nature gave it a good try but she didn’t quite make it. I refused to turn the heat back on so the apartment was a little on the chilly side until later in the day.

By dinner time I was ready to go outside. I assumed the cooler temps would have kept the people away from Delta Lake and my chance for a quiet sunset would be pretty good. Driving to the park I noticed the sunlight illuminating the trees along the shore. I had my first destination once I parked the car. I probably should have parked in the upper area lot but I knew I would end the evening on the beach so the walk from the opposite corner of the park would do me good.

The water levels are a little low for the start of summer but it allowed me to get a nice image of the rocks leading off to the right as the sun peaked out from behind the clouds and lit up the trees along the shore. Definitely loved the clouds in the sky but I knew they were going to present a problem as the sun approached the horizon.

I ended up staying past the official sunset as I was right to worry about the clouds. I wasn’t able to get a “sunset” image but the I did walk away with a nice reflection image. Once the sun was below the horizon it cast some great color on to the clouds. The minimal wind kept the rolling waves to a minimum and allowed for a nice reflection. More on that image later…


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Just Up Ahead

Just Up Ahead
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/320s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200