Hanging Valley Waterfalls

Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls

Many if not most of our waterfalls in the Finger Lakes of New York can be classified as occurring in “hanging valleys.” That is, they have formed where gorges drop into larger valleys that were greatly deepened by the passage of glaciers; hence these side valley gorges were left suspended, or “hanging,” above these main glacial troughs. In this episode of Walk in the Park (#81, recorded on July 16, 2014 at PEGASYS Studios, Ithaca, NY), we look at the hanging valley waterfalls along the southern end of the Cayuga Lake valley near Ithaca, NY. Then we compare them with two of the most famous hanging waterfalls in the United States–Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park. We conclude with a beautiful video about Yosemite Falls produced by the Yosemite Conservancy in their Yosemite Nature Notes series.

You can watch this episode beginning tonight (Thursday, 7/17/14) at 9:00 p.m. on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3. It will show again on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and finally next Tuesday, 7/22, at 8:00 p.m.

Or, you can watch it right here anytime!

Yosemite National Park

If you know Ithaca, NY you know we have amazing waterfalls! Well in our current episode (#79) of Walk in the Park on Ithaca’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3, we go to the premier place in North America for waterfalls–Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada; which celebrates its 150th anniversary as a park on Monday, June 30, 2014! Ithaca cable TV showings will repeat on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and finally on Tuesday, July 1, at 8:00, on channels 13 and 97.3. Or, you can watch it online anytime right here!

Park Minute: “Galaxy Eddy”

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.

Stone spiral sculpture in the bed of Buttermilk Creek in Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes region

From the Gorge Trail, yesterday, I noticed this pattern in the creek bed in Buttermilk Falls State Park.

Stone spiral sculpture in the bed of Buttermilk Creek in Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes region

Someone had arranged stones in a spiral under water.

Check out our popular book, Ithaca-the City, Gorges, and Colleges, now available online as an ebook.

* Note: Buttermilk Falls State Park insists that park visitors stay on the Gorge Trail for their safety.

Flash Flooding Waterfalls, Silent Movies, and Beautiful Gorges

Polished rock layers revealed by Glen Creek in Watkins Glen State Park

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.

Or you see it now right here!

Park Minute: Water Created Watkins Glen

Ice Age glaciers, stream erosion, sea sediments created Watkins Glen in Watkins Glen State Park in New York's Finger Lakes region.

Glen Creek snakes through its polished rock flood zone in the Glen Alpha section of Watkins Glen.

In this episode (#6) of Park Minute, I show the three ways that water has created and shaped the landscape of the gorge in Watkins Glen State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

 

Kaaterskill

Kaaterskill Falls in New York's Catskill Mountains

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.)

The Treman Show

old postcard Enfield Falls State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes

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.

Getting a Haendel on Cayuga Lake

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 tour boat MV Haendel in Cayuga Inlet, Ithaca, NY

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 public eco-tour

Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom director Bill Foster instructs a public eco-tour participant during a lake sampling outing.

In this week’s episode of Walk in the Park TV, we take a visual tour of Cayuga Lake on the Haendel, from the Ithaca Farmers Market to Wells College in Aurora, as if we were on the boat itself. There is a lot to see from the water (and from the air in this case as we integrate Bill Hecht’s amazing aerial photography.) You can watch the show on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 (next scheduled showings: Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and Tuesday, March 5, at 8:00 p.m., and at other times the station may add).

Or you can watch it online right here!

Headwaters of Cayuga Lake

See it here or see it on TV!

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.

 

Grand Canyon & Finger Lakes Compared

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.

South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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).

See all of my Walk in the Park episodes and short videos.