Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Witches Brew

Upper Falls, Letchworth SP, NY

Son-of-a-bitch, the sun came out.  The rain has gone somewhere else.  People are climbing out from beneath whatever rock they took shelter under.  Including me.  So just to get away, I headed south on I-390 and wound up in Letchworth State Park (about 50 miles away).  I took my camera, of course, but mostly I went to be outside and walk around.  Maybe soak up a little vitamin D.

On the minus side, the place was pretty soggy.  Some of the trails were mostly mud.  On the plus side, there were very few people around.  Pretty much had the place to myself.  And the river was running fast and angry.

One of my favorite spots is at the top of the Upper Falls, essentially the beginning of the gorge that the Genesee River winds its way through on its journey north.  It’s an interesting spot on a quiet day in midsummer.  Yesterday, given all the water we’ve had, the noise was deafening.  The somewhat circular area at the base of the falls has always reminded me of a cauldron – the water literally appears to be boiling.  Not to mention the pillars of mist rising a hundred feet or so above the river.  If you go there in late afternoon when the sun is behind the falls, you’ll see a rainbow that appears so close that you can almost reach out and touch it.

As you can see, no one was standing in the overlook area.  I wish there had been.  Some images definitely benefit from human participation, and this would have been one of them.  Although I can tell you that they would have gotten wet.  I can tell you that because I did get wet.  So did the camera.  Some of the time you could stand there directly above the edge of the falls and stay dry.  Then the wind would shift.  Instant cold shower.

Not a problem, though.  It sure as hell beats standing in the house looking out the window at the rain.  Now all I have to do is pick a new place to visit.


6 Responses to “Witches Brew”

  1. Ken Bello

    This is a great shot, Paul, but I think it’s just as interesting without people in it simply because of the tree shadow. This is a very nice spot to just watch the river. I’m always fascinated with the construction of the observation points in the park and how nicely they integrate into the landscape. They really did a good job at Letchworth.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Ken. In general, I agree that the observation points in Letchworth (and most of the other NY state parks) are well placed. The glaring exceptions are some of the “scenic overlooks” that were probably once exactly that, but have since been made useless by growing trees that block the view. Remember, these parks were mostly built during the Depression. I’m not suggesting that they cut the trees down or anything. It’s just kind of funny watching people pull into these spots and then wondering what it is they’re supposed to be looking at.

  2. Earl

    Paul, glad to hear the wet weather is letting up for you guys — you’re due some sun! This image is wonderful, well composed and framed. It certainly conveys a feeling of rushing water and mist. I look forward to more photos from your “making of hay while the sun shines.”

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Earl. Heck, we’re getting about 5 days in a row of good weather. Almost perfect as a matter of fact.


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