White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Wander About, Ithaca, New York, USA

The final major falls on Cascadilla Creek at the edge of downtown Ithaca is a fine place to sit awhile and enjoy the music of a waterfall.

As the creek flows through town, it is corralled into a concrete flood control channel.

One of many churches in the downtown Ithaca area.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wedding Portraits, Ithaca Falls, Ithaca, New York, USA

It seemed a good idea to take a group photo in front of the Ithaca Falls before our guests returned home. It was cold and breezy and we weren't inclined to linger. The falls made a great backdrop for the images even though the air temp was below freezing. But, as we turned to leave.........

..... a wedding party was just arriving to take official wedding pictures. Yes, that is fresh snow in the background.

The bride was in good spirits despite the cold.

Her bridesmaids stayed close together to try to stay warm.

They chose a beautiful setting to begin their life together.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cornell University Campus, Ithaca, New York, USA

Since legal parking is possible in some places for a non-permit holder after 5pm or on the weekends, I decided to pay an evening visit to the Cornell campus to wander about and see what I could see. With my fondness for the highest vantage point, I was particularly interested in the clock/bell tower shown above. How can I get up there? The sky started out cloudy but then as if on cue.......

.. the clouds dissipated and the sun broke through and magically, students appeared spontaneously to sit on the hillside and enjoy the late afternoon sunshine.

Even though the terrain is often steep, it is a fine campus to wander about. I expect after four years as a student, most leave with strong calf muscles.

Sunlight streamed through this walkway between buildings.

I wandered over by the door to the tower and, lo and behold, there was a sign posted saying a bell concert would occur in just a few minutes. It is sometimes better to be lucky than good. At the appointed time, the door opened and I, along with perhaps twenty other people, started the trudge up the 161 stairs to the top. And oh, what a view there was ........

....looking out from the tower. It's still hazy but you get the idea of the location. That's Cayuga Lake in the distance stretching off towards the horizon. The lake is about 40 miles long.

And looking the other direction, these cool buildings were close by.

Although I spent a few minutes up top in the belfry with the bells ringing, even I who likes loud music, had to plug my ears with my fingers when up by the bells.

Here is the instrument that creates the bell music: the playing stand for the Cornell Chimes. Each of the 21 levers, some played by hand, some by foot, are physically connected by the metal rods and cables to the clappers in the bells above.

Each year, a competition is held to select Chimesmasters. Criteria: ability to read music, balance on one foot, and climb 161 stairs. Seriously.

Three times a day when classes are in session, the Chimesmasters perform a short concert. Some pieces required two people - four hands and two feet between them.

It was a way cool experience - I can't wait to do it again! I recommend it highly - if you are able to climb the 161 steps.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Day in the Life, Ithaca, New York, USA

A late start for the four of us featured Sunday brunch at the Moosewood Restaurant in downtown Ithaca. For 45 years, this icon of the modern vegetarian movement has been serving vegetarian and vegan dishes to eager customers.

After lunch (including a dessert slice of vegan chocolate cake split four ways), we walked across the arcade to the Ithaca Guitar Works to wander among a wide range of stringed instruments, many hanging from above.

Much like the Moosewood Restaurant, this shop has a special ambiance that's hard to describe but easily felt when you walk in the door.

A vigorous walk followed the exceptional lunch.

It was the weekend so there were many people and families out enjoying the fresh but wintry air. (Taughannock Falls).

This was an unexpected treat along the trail. The park folks had stocked two campfires along the path for a quick warm-up. And the wood-smoke smell in my clothes was a good reminder later that night of spending pleasant time out and about in Ithaca, New York.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Ithaca Farmers Market, Ithaca, New York, USA

Ithaca Farmers Market enjoys a dedicated lakefront space with a permanent roof covering the individual vendor stalls and main concourse. But with no walls, the cold wind just whistled through on the opening day of this year's market season.

Ithacans being the hearty folks they are still came out on opening day to enjoy the return of this city's iconic experience. The food stalls were especially popular with vendors representing a surprising range of ethnic food from around the world.

The baked goods stalls were especially popular.

We bought some "number 1's" to take home for dinner.

At next door Stewart Park, the sailing club was visible out in the cold wind doing what sailors do. Springtime is here even though the air temperature doesn't seem to have gotten the word yet. The increasing greening of the willow trees is proof.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Three Views of Taughannock Falls, Ulysses, New York, USA

I enjoyed another visit to the powerful and delightful Taughannock Falls just north of Ithaca on the west side of Cayuga Lake.

The spray and mist has frozen on the side walls adding another element of beauty to the view.

There were a few hearty souls, dogs, and babies out but, the cold and wind seems to have kept most folks away. I have been enjoying free access to the park. In the off season, the park does not charge an entrance fee. Once the season begins, it will cost $8/car to park and enter. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

More Waterfalls, Ithaca, New York, USA

The sun came out for a few minutes today so I took the opportunity to visit Robert Tremen State Park. This falls is just beside the upper parking area. Unfortunately, the trail to spectacular Lucifer Falls was still closed.

At the lower area of the park, Enfield Falls, was gushing with lots of water.

Same location, wider angle of view - not many people out and about.

And over at Wells Falls just outside downtown Ithaca, there is still a large volume of water in the gorge. The advertising slogan, "Ithaca is Gorges," is as applicable as it is clever.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Springtime, Ithaca, New York, USA

My regular tree in Stewart Park continues to show spring growth even though the weather feels more like winter.

And elsewhere just outside Ithaca, the wide open farmlands portray the pastoral and timeless beauty of the area.

The cattle seem to enjoy the warm sunshine as well.

This cloud passing over the distant hills is likely dropping rain, snow, sleet, snow pellets, and whatever other forms of precipitation are possible - all in just a few minutes time - welcome to spring in Ithaca.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Taughannock Falls State Park, Ulysses, New York, USA

Taughannock Falls State Park is located about a 15-minute drive outside Ithaca on the west side of Cayuga Lake. Walk about 3/4 of a mile from the parking area and you encounter this spectacular falls. At 215-feet, it is three stories taller than Niagara Falls in western New York.

With all the recent rain in the area, the volume of water flow was impressive. It is the tallest single-drop plunge-type waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. It is absolutely awesome!

A mostly level cinder trail winds along minor riffles and waterfalls as the flow drains into Cayuga Lake. Easy walking.

I don't recall seeing this sign anywhere recently - yes, that's a big chuck of ice that fell from the gorge wall.

At the bottom as the water joins the lake, this beautifully crafted wood and stone stairway arches over the flow.

A mile of so west of the lower falls parking area, there is an observation area that offers this beautiful view - clouds and all. There is a trail (closed this time of year) and a roadway to access the overlook.

Taughannock Falls (map at this link) is clearly the crown jewel of waterfalls in the local Ithaca area.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Street Art, Ithaca, New York, USA

I always enjoy seeing eye-catching street art. The brick wall that serves as the artist's canvas was formerly part of a firehouse and these murals pay tribute to that past.

They are located in the downtown area on State Street near the Ithaca Commons.