Well, this is embarrassing. My last blog post was on August 14: bees hard at work in the blazing sun. Now it’s Thanksgiving. The trees are mostly bare, the ground is mostly covered with leaves. Chilly winds whip dark clouds across the sky, easing from time to time to let woodsmoke tickle the nose. Life is full of turkey anticipation, apple cider wishes, and pumpkin-spice everything. I have just one question:
Deep into the summer, flowers are blooming everywhere. Flowers attract bugs, and bugs attract my camera. As I do every year, I’ve dug out my macro lens and gone tromping through fields and meadows in search of small flying insects to photograph.
Today’s collection features our bee friends, and some other friends that look similar to bees but aren’t.
Recap: Our intrepid band of explorers – Ron, Carol and I – had traversed a slippery, tortuous trail through the dark heart of Enfield Glen. We had passed a couple of large cascades, but were hearing something bigger. Much bigger, and much more ominous.
Then, the bottom dropped out, and we found ourselves staring into the abyss…
It was a soft summer morning in the Finger Lakes, tranquil and warm. On such a day, the warning seemed out of place. Paying it no heed, our little band of adventurers descended into the dark bowels of the Earth – to meet the Devil himself.
A wise man once said “You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”
For my last day in Ithaca last summer, what I wanted was to go to Buttermilk Falls, one of those MUST-SEE places people were talking about. What I got was a balky knee that wouldn’t handle the steps to the second floor without complaint, much less all the climbing to be done at Buttermilk.
I know what you’re thinking. That I am neglecting something in the tale of my trip to upstate New York last summer. Waterfalls, rocks and way too much geology – enough! The region around Ithaca is known as the Finger LAKES, not the Finger GORGES, after all. Something’s missing!
Before I came to Ithaca, NY, I never really questioned why waterfalls occur where they do. It’s a simple equation: Steep mountainsides + creeks = waterfalls.
I wouldn’t have called the Finger Lakes Region “mountainous,” though. Not compared to the Adirondacks or the Appalachians. “Rolling hills” is more like it. So where did all these gorges and waterfalls come from?
To find out, I walked through Taughannock Gorge – and back through time.
Expectations. We’ve talked before about the expectations I bring to each new area I visit. How I go to a new place with certain assumptions? Only to find the surroundings have something unexpected to say for themselves?
Last summer brought me to a new region that has been on my bucket list for a while: New York’s Finger Lakes. In lieu of the usual family gathering in Michigan, my cousin and her husband invited me to join their son and daughter-in-law and a close friend for a week at their home in Ithaca, New York. For them it would be a stay-cation; for us, a chance for new adventures in a year where a change of scenery was desperately needed.
The company of family and friends was incentive enough. To further entice me, Becky and Ron promised lots of outdoor activities. Hiking, swimming, kayaking, gorges, waterfalls…
It’s getting annoying. The constant, imperious interruptions. Can’t a girl get some peace?
I have been promising Wild Edge readers a Finger Lakes series for weeks. But every time I try to sit down and edit the photos, something else intervenes. From outside my window, the call comes, beckoning – no, demanding.
GO OUTSIDE. BRING YOUR CAMERA. NOT LATER.
I tried, but failed, to resist the siren song of September. October was no different. It’s the trees this time. Changing day-by-day to brilliant gold and crimson. The march of the seasons goes relentlessly on, no matter what. One ignores it at one’s peril.
A melody drifts over the meadows, to the accompaniment of cicadas and crickets and birdsong. The tune is deep purple and golden, and it calls to the small creatures of the air with a silken voice: “Come to me! Feed on my rich nectar while you may!” The little aerialists are happy to oblige, raising their voices in sweet harmony to the music of the wildflowers until all the world is ablaze with the Song of September.