Sunday, September 29, 2013

Adirondack Color

Made a quick trip up to the high peaks area of the Adirondacks to explore some areas new to me. The tourism reports of peak color were exaggerated, which is no big surprise.  Still I found some nice places.  On the way in from the interstate highway, I stopped by Splitrock Falls on NY9.  It was a bright, high contrast day so I had to use a mild bit of high dynamic processing to capture the tones in the shaded areas.  I want to return here on a cloudy day after some heavy rain.

Since I arrived at noon, I had time to take a fairly rugged hike near Chapel Pond on NY73. The objective was Giant's Nubble and a view of Giant's Wash Bowl. The 2.5 mile route up seems to have another 1/2 mile in detouring around large boulders and such.  The view was ample payment for the effort.

Before the day ended, I also explored a pond near Lake Placid.  I planned to return there in the morning, when the morning fog rises.  Hiking the pond with only my little point and shoot Canon G9, I found the pond beautiful in the evening as well.

My main objective for this trip was to make the long hike up the west side of the Ausable River from St. Hubert's.  This is on the Adirondack Mountain Reserve property.  They are largely responsible for saving the high peaks from lumbering, and only allow access by foot on their trails.  It proved to be a challenging trail in very uneven terrain, but I am not complaining.  The waterfalls were unlike any I have seen before.  The first was Wedge Falls. It looks like a large rock wedge was driven in to separate the water's descent.

Wedge Brook has a series of cascades and water slides above the main falls.  This little spot was hidden away from the trail a short distance.

I continued on towards my lunch destination of Beaver Meadow Falls.

Imaging sitting on a log, viewing this scene after 2-1/2 hours of  hiking.  Tuna on a pita made for a delightful lunch.  I was hungry enough to eat cardboard, in truth.  As I visually explored the scene, I saw an interesting little side area and found a rainbow in a shaft of sunlight at the base of the falls. It was one of those situations where the eye sees a lot more than the camera can fully capture. Still, I have to share it for the wonder that I found.

At this point, I was most interested to make it to Lower Ausable dam, and to reach the gravel road that would yield a smooth walk for the 4-1/2 miles back to the car.  I made the road after 5 hours of hiking and headed towards what would be another two hours of steady walking.  That was interrupted when I saw a large beaver pond.  The beaver proved to be very indifferent to humans. I'd begun to doubt the wisdom of including my heavy long-range zoom in the pack until this moment.

I could literally hear the beaver gnawing away at the soft exterior of the branches.  Thanks to the AMR for keeping this wilderness unspoiled and free from trapping. That is the reason that the beaver  are unafraid of humans. A special  moment was when one beavier swam toward me into a patch of water reflecting the rich colors of the trees.

This was so exciting I almost forgot to trip the shutter.  As I looked at my watch, I saw that I needed to get moving with a long walk to the gate house, and my feet feeling weary.  My day was only to get better when a kind member of the AMR offered this tired hiker a lift out. I must  have looked like I felt.  Furthermore, she took me all the way past the gate house another 0.6 miles to the parking area. This had been a wonderful day in all regards.

I was to return home on the next day, but before sunrise, I returned to the pond near Lake Placid and found some nice color as the fog lifted.  Whiteface Mountain is supposed to be in the distance, but the fog never allowed that before I needed to make my last stop at a new location, Nichol's Brook.

Even though I was weary after the hike up Ausable River the day before, I had run by Nichol's Brook and liked what I saw.  Arriving at mid-morning, I did something different. Rather than look upstream at the cascade, I looked downstream and found some rich reflections of  yellow, green and blue.

Autumn has always been a challenge for me artistically. The grand views of hills coated with red and yellow never seem to be as interesting in a photo as they were to the eye.  It seems I have to look closer and distill the scene into a less busy, confusing image. I liked what I saw at Nichol's Brook more than I can recall before.  I looked even closer.


This became even more satisfying to my eye.  It is always a challenge to produce a photo that matches what my brain saw and felt. I feel like this trip was a big step forward in reconciling the two.

I'll be back.  Hoping for some rain and cloudy weather the next time for a new take on the Adirondacks.

Paul Schmitt

No comments:

Post a Comment