Sunday, March 20, 2016

Unexpected Beauty

For the past several months, weekly trips to Syracuse have been the norm.  A nearly straight line route utilizing a combination of town, county and state roads traverse a geologically varied region of New York State and make for a challenging  drive.  My focus is on finding the best track for the numerous S curves.  I failed to notice this waterfall until last week.  Traveling west the curve in the road and the shale ledge effectively hide the waterfall.  Most of the time little water moves in this stream.  Last week my drive followed a rainfall of some significance and huge volumes of white water poured over this ledge.  Traveling east, it was impossible to miss seeing this roadside waterfall but prior planning was required for a safe stop here.

A shale deposit is very near the surface in this area.  Soil is thin and large areas of flat land suitable for farming are nonexistent here.  Small fields supported unprofitable farms in the past and the falling skeletons of abandoned barns are now common in this valley.  Soon even they will be gone.  Clusters of old tattered mobile homes surrounded by accumulations of trash tend to focus ones attention on quickly and safely clearing that area.  Music from the film Deliverance finds its way into the mind.  Then there is this spot of natural beauty.

Shingled shale slope is a frequently used combination of words used to describe this type of waterfall.  Water is continuously removing small bits of shale that now line the pool at the base of the falls.  One should reasonably expect that such mounds of wet stones would not provide secure footing.  That lesson was quickly taught as my foot pushed a pile of these stones back into the pool.  Once lightning fast reflexes combined with agility severely dulled by age kept both my feet and the camera dry but my move was certainly laughable.  In a place like this, there is no video!

This natural feature is one hour from our home.  Plans to make excursions here to capture the seasonal changes have already been made.  These trips will follow heavy rainfalls so that the water flow will be impressive.  Located right next to the road, pictures of ice formations will be possible with relative safety.  Hard as it is to believe, that has me looking forward to next winter. 

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