Friday, October 6, 2017

Nightly Valley Fog

This is the season for warm summer like days and chilly nights.  Having to turn on both the air conditioner and the heat in the same day does happen on occasion now but the fog that forms most nights is the subject under consideration.  For those of us that live in the valleys, the fog is at best a nuisance.  School aged children standing roadside waiting for their school bus while surrounded by fog is not the best way to start their day.  Those of us with fewer demands on our time wait for the fog to burn off before venturing out.  Others that live along the summit of a ridge are able to begin each day looking out at great natural beauty.

These pictures were taken from the crest of a ridge that forces the Susquehanna River to flow in a westward direction.  The small notch in the ridge across the valley marks the location of the Unadilla River as it approaches its confluence with the Susquehanna.  All of the visible land features seen here were created by the last glacier that first buried and then exposed all of this ground.

Geologically speaking, this is a rather dull area.  We have none of the shale lined gorges nor towering waterfalls that are so common just to our west in the Finger Lakes region.  Our two rivers are basically flat water.  Small waterfalls do exist in limited numbers on some of the streams feeding into our rivers.  The New York State Geologic Society holds a several days long exploration of areas within the state each year but has never ventured here.  Still, this is home and we consider it special.

These views of the fog filled valleys allow me to imagine how this area might have looked as the last glacier was melting.  The surface of the fog is pure without blemish while the decaying top of the glacier would be littered with mud, rocks and dead vegetation.  Of course the glacier ended all of the trees so the ridge surface would appear barren and worn.  How this land came to be in its present form is complex beyond imagination but invites one to take a long second look.

In this picture the sun has climbed higher into the sky and the fog is nearly gone.  Sidney, New York was established here near where the two rivers meet. Our homestead is located in or near the most distant band of fog that is wrapped around the end of a bedrock ridge.  We tend to forget that most or the ridges in this area run east to west since we border a south flowing river. 

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