Jim Rundle and Tammy Lovell joined two others to walk across the Grand Canyon last November in a trek that dazzled their senses with awe. They tell their story on this week’s episode of Walk in the Park TV series on Ithaca’s public access channel 13. It is showing now: next scheduled showings are this Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and next Tuesday, February 5, at 8:00 p.m. And at other times as the station chooses. I will post the show online very soon!
Three people sit near the old mill by the base of Buttermilk Falls, in this old photo provided by photographer and local historian Bill Hecht. As with many of the gorges and mills around Ithaca and the Finger Lakes, mills gave way to those seeking the balm of scenery. This photograph suggests that transition. In the 1866 book, The Scenery of Ithaca and the Headwaters of Cayuga Lake, edited by Spence Spencer, we find that it was a sawmill in his description of this very scene for prospective tourists.
Late December brought two snows to the Finger Lakes, leaving a foot or more on our woods, fields, towns, and gorges. I made this short video (3 minutes) of the beauty of Taughannock Falls with the new snow and ice, accompanied by the composition, “First Snow,” by Ithaca musician Duke Koistra.
This short video is also included in my new episode of my Walk in the Park TV series which begins showing this evening (January 10) on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 at 9:00 p.m. and lasts for half an hour. In this episode, I also include my video “Winter Water” and pictures of a beaver along snowy Fall Creek taken by photographer Deanna Stickler Laurentz. Finally, I discuss the special Deer Management Focus Area hunting season that begins this weekend in parts of Tompkins County. The episode will also be aired on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. I plan to have the entire episode online on this blog by the weekend.
Most big waterfalls in the Ithaca area are easy to see. You can marvel at Ithaca Falls from Lake Street or walk the short path into the gorge. You can drive to Taughannock Falls Overlook, and drive into the entrance of Buttermilk Falls State Park with the falls on your right. But 115-feet-high Lucifer Falls in Robert H. Treman State Park requires a walk along a trail, and in winter the Gorge Trail is closed due to ice and rockfall hazards. And in the past, the Rim Trail was closed in winter as well, so it was impossible to go see the big waterfall for several months of the year without trespassing on a closed trail.
In recent years, however, the park has kept open the Rim Trail from its start in the upper park to the view of Lucifer. (From there on, from the top of Cliff Staircase the trail is closed.) And park staff recently constructed a new wooden footbridge over a spot that has iced up along the trail in the past.
Check out my latest short episode ( 3 1/2 minutes) of Gorges TV to see and learn more about Lucifer Falls and the trails this time of year.
With the leaves overhead fallen, the noonday sun illuminates the leaves of small beech trees changing on this early November day.
And you can watch the scene come alive in this 20-second video: