In this week’s Park Minute, we look briefly at how water creates rock pools, or potholes, in the stream beds in our gorges in the Finger Lakes, in this case at Buttermilk Falls State Park, in Ithaca, NY.
And, it’s become a local custom for some people to create art with stones in our area creek beds, this one in Buttermilk Falls State Park*, as well.
From the Gorge Trail, yesterday, I noticed this pattern in the creek bed in Buttermilk Falls State Park.
Someone had arranged stones in a spiral under water.
The rocky banks of Glen Creek have been polished by countless flash floods over the millennia in "Glen Alpha," the first section of the gorge in Watkins Glen State Park past the Main Entrance. Photo by Nigel Peterson Benson Kent.
In this episode (#53) of Walk in the Park TV, we see more photos and footage (thanks to “Acorn Place“) of the August 9 flash flood on Ithaca’s waterfalls, including the swimming area at the Lower Falls at Robert H. Treman State Park and Taughannock Falls at Taughannock Falls State Park. We also take a look at the 3rd annual “Movie Under the Stars” at Taughannock Falls State Park; seeing clips from the silent film, “The Lottery Man,” made at the Wharton Studios in what is now Stewart Park in Ithaca nearly a century ago; presented by the Ithaca Motion Picture Project. Finally, we see three short “Park Minute” videos I made about Watkins Glen State Park, accompanied by beautiful photographs by Nigel Peterson Benson Kent.
You can watch this show this week (8/29/13-9/3/13) on Ithaca, NY’s public access TV channel 13 (or 97.3) during the schedule listed on our TV Show page.
Kaaterskill Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in New York State, in the northeast Catskill Mountains
In this week’s episode (#48) of Walk in the Park TV, we visit the northeastern Catskill Mountains overlooking the Hudson River. It is the site of Washington Irving’s story of Rip Van Winkle, the former site of several 19th century luxury mountain resorts, and the birthplace of the Hudson River School of painting. We travel across the Hudson to Olana, the home of Frederic Church, one of the Hudson River School’s most famous and most successful artists. From Olana, we have a sweeping view of the “Catskill Mural Front.”
We finish the show with a look at a few of the wildflowers blooming now around our gorges.
Watch the show online below or see it this weekend on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channel 13 on both Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and then finally next Tuesday, June 4, at 8:00 p.m. (In general, video quality on the TV is better than online.)
An old postcard shows the beginning of the upper gorge in the upper section of Robert H. Treman State Park.
“The Treman Show.” Produced by the Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park, this award-winning* half-hour episode of Walk in the Park TV (#44) explores the trails, history, archeology, geology, and plants and wildlife of this scenic and historic park near Ithaca in New York’s Finger Lakes region. It will show on Ithaca, NY’s public access channel 13 this Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and again on Tuesday, April 2, at 8:00 p.m. Or, you can watch it right here!
*This video, originally entitled, “Exploring Robert H. Treman State Park,” and part of the Nature Nearby series produced by Tony Ingraham for PEGASYS public access in Ithaca, NY, won first place as the best public access show in Ithaca in 2008.
For ten years, the tour boat/floating classroom MV Haendel has chugged up and down Cayuga Lake revealing the lake’s stories, taking its vital signs, and expanding our awareness of this dominant, beautiful body of water in New York’s Finger Lakes region. I have worked on the Haendel since late in its first season in 2003, mostly as an interpreter of the natural and cultural history of the lake on the boat’s tours out of Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca. The company, Tiohero Tours, has changed its name now to Ithaca Boat Tours, and we look forward to the new season sharing Cayuga’s waters with thousands of visitors, residents, and students.
The MV Haendel heads down Cayuga Inlet toward Cayuga Lake on another tour from the Ithaca Farmers Market.
The other part of the Haendel’s mission is the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom, where the crew takes school groups, college classes, camp groups, public eco-tours, and scientific monitoring teams out on the water to probe and learn more about what is happening below the surface. Besides teaching thousands about lake science, the Floating Classroom has played a vital role in assessing the health of the lake; most notably in discovering the aggressive, and potentially disastrous, exotic, invasive, aquatic weed hydrilla in Cayuga Inlet, setting off a major institutional and governmental response to try to control and eradicate the infestation.
Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom director Bill Foster instructs a public eco-tour participant during a lake sampling outing.
In this episode (#39, 2/20/13) of Walk in the Park TV (Ithaca, NY public access cable channel 13), I take you on a tour of the major tributaries and subwatersheds of Cayuga Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Using beautiful aerial photography by Bill Hecht, we visit Cayuga’s Inlet Valley; the Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity Preserve of the Finger Lakes Land Trust; Enfield Glen and Lucifer Falls in Robert H. Treman State Park; Buttermilk Falls State Park; Sixmile Creek Nature Preserve; Cascadilla Gorge; Cornell University; Fall Creek and its gorge and Ithaca Falls; Salmon Creek and Myers Point in Lansing, NY; Taughannock Falls State Park; and the rest of Cayuga Lake including the Seneca River and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Finally, we trace the flow of Cayuga’s waters through the Seneca and Oswego River system to Lake Ontario, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence River. Watch it here!
This show can also be seen on Ithaca’s public access TV channel 13 this Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and next Tuesday, 2/16, at 8:00 p.m.; and at other times the station may decide.
Huh? What could such different regions have in common? Well, there are some commonalities, and there are great differences. The two regions are parts of much larger river basins, the Colorado and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence respectively. Both are eroded into ancient sedimentary rock layers. One is arid, and often desert, while the other receives abundant rainfall. One has been drastically altered by glaciation, while the other apparently has not. In this week’s episode (#37) of Walk in the Park TV, we return to the Grand Canyon (following last week’s show, “Walk Across the Grand Canyon“) and look at the bigger picture.
The South Kaibab Trail hugs the base of this cliff near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
After that, in honor of the Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens, we take a look at real ravens, including ravens at the Grand Canyon. And finally, we briefly discuss uranium mining at the Grand Canyon.
See it here online, or watch it on Ithaca, NY public access TV channel 13, this Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. each day, or next Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 8:00 p.m., and at other times the station may schedule it until Wednesday, Feb. 13 (check just before the hour and half hour and the day’s cablecast schedule is usually posted briefly).
We see Ithaca, Sixmile Creek valley, Buttermilk Falls State Park (including the effects of Hurricane Sandy), Cayuga Lake, Myers Point in Lansing, Keuka Lake, Bluff Point, Keuka College, Canandaigua Lake, Naples NY, the Hi Tor State Wildlife Management Area, and the Great Hill (or South Hill) at the south end of Canandaigua Lake, considered (and celebrated) by the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois as their birthplace. Great Hill is now a Finger Lakes Land Trust Preserve.
Bill Hecht's photo looking south over Bluff Point at the confluence of the East Branch and West Branch of Keuka Lake in New York's Finger Lakes region.
We fly over Cliffside State Forest in Schuyler County and Cornell University’s Arnot Forest in Tompkins County. We also go back to Ithaca Falls for a couple of short videos of the waterfall, fall colors, and fly fishermen in Fall Creek, set to music. And we reconsider a couple of maple tree species in the western United States, the bigtoothed maple in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, and the bigleaf maple on the West Coast, from California through Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and just into southeast Alaska. Join host Tony Ingraham in this scenery-packed episode of Walk in the Park (#26).
“Ithaca is Gorges” they say in this town at the south end of Cayuga Lake. But there are lots of other beautiful gorges in New York’s Finger Lakes region, including Fillmore Glen by the little village of Moravia in Cayuga County south of Owasco Lake, the next Finger Lake to the east of Cayuga Lake. This lush and scenic gorge is preserved in Fillmore Glen State Park, due to the efforts of Dr. Charles Atwood, a local physician and amateur botanist, who advocated for its protection and establishment of the park in the 1920s. The new episode of “Walk in the Park,” our public access TV show in the Ithaca area, features Fillmore Glen with photographs and video taken recently.
A small waterfall about a mile up the Gorge Trail in Fillmore Glen
Fillmore Glen is named for Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the United States, who was born in 1800 in a cabin a few miles east of the park. He was the first “log cabin president” and the first president born in the nineteenth century. He was also the first president who rose from modest means to the middle class. Find out more about Millard Fillmore in our Walk in the Park video episode, “Fillmore Glen State Park.”
Official White House painting of President Millard Fillmore, by G.P.A. Healy 1857
The climax of Fillmore Glen, and also the part most easily viewed, is the Cowsheds, a waterfall, rock amphitheater, and overhanging rock formation just a short walk from the picnic pavilion and swimming area in the mouth of the gorge.
The Cowsheds is the scenic star of Fillmore Glen.
In the photograph above, large slabs of limestone have fallen from the overhanging roof-like ledge up to the left. Freezing, thawing, wetting, drying, and high water have weathered and eroded out the Cowsheds.