Colors of Letchworth

November 22, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

The joke was on me. We usually arrive in Letchworth through the Castile entrance but this time, having picked up some to go lunch in the village of Orchard Park, we followed 20A and entered the park through the Mt. Morris entrance at the park's northern tip. The first stop was at Mt. Morris Dam an my first comment was that there was barely any water behind the dam.

Support this blog: Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph yet? Using my links (Amazon) to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them.

Well, it turned out I could not be more wrong. There was a lot of debris held away from the dam by some type of a boom, like what they use on Lake Erie to keep ice away from Niagara River, and my initial impression was the dam was pretty much empty with just a puddle by the dam itself. The first clue something was off was the water bursting with force from the outlets below the dam. The second clue was my wife giving me a strange look and questioning my assessment. Maybe she remembered our past visits better or maybe she saw through the debris quicker or both.

Either way, the park kept me acutely aware of my mistake through the rest of that day's visit. No matter where we went the river was swelling like I could not remember ever before. And my initial statement became the running joke of the day - "not enough water".

My photos from this visit are still on undeveloped film in the basement waiting their turn. Instead, these are the 2020 photos when there truly was very little water. And having looked through all of them I now find my mistake even more funny, actually quite ridiculous.

Big Bend in the Fall, Letchworth State Park, New York. Mamiya 645 1000s, Kodak Ektachrome E100,  E-6.Big Bend in the FallLetchworth State Park

Big Bend in the Fall, Letchworth State Park, New York
Photographed with a Mamiya 645 1000s on Kodak Ektachrome E100 slide film and developed in E-6

The Big Bend area is breathtaking in any season and any time of day. Many moons ago, arriving here for a sunrise used to be not only a wonderful experience and a photo adventure but also an opportunity for solitude and a quiet contemplation. That has changed though and it's rare to have the location to yourself. There will usually be one or two other photographers. There's nothing wrong with that but it does change the experience.

This day it was not the sunrise though that drew us to Letchworth, we came to enjoy the colorful show. And having arrived through the Castile entrance this was also our welcoming view. Looking into the zigzagging valley down below I always like to catch a glimpse of the Genesee River to complete the view. Somehow, the scene feels incomplete without it.

Tea Table Cliffs in the Fall, Letchworth State Park, New York State. Mamiya 645 1000s, Kodak Ektachrome E100,  E-6.Tea Table Cliffs in the FallLetchworth State Park

Tea Table Cliffs in the Fall, Letchworth State Park, New York State
Photographed with a Mamiya 645 1000s on Kodak Ektachrome E100 slide film and developed in E-6

Almost all Letchworth's viewpoints are beautiful and Tea Table is no exception. As a side note, it's also being renovated and all of the old crumbling stone and concrete tables are getting fixed up with the stonework repaired and new concrete slabs for tabletops. Once finished it will be a top notch picnic spot. So bring your lunch or snack and a thermos filled with hot tea and come enjoy the Tea Table area. The views you'll have are hard to rival.

Tea Table Gap in the Fall, Letchworth State Park. Mamiya 645 1000s, Kodak Ektachrome E100,  E-6.Tea Table Gap in the FallLetchworth State Park

Tea Table Gap in the Fall, Letchworth State Park
Photographed with a Mamiya 645 1000s on Kodak Ektachrome E100 slide film and developed in E-6

You can enjoy the views of the near cliffs to the side, there are often turkey vultures or other birds to keep an eye on, and you can also look across and into the valley as the river winds through. As a photographer, bring along different focal lengths. This spot and the whole park has plenty for each of them.

Hog's Back in the Fall, Letchworth State Park. Mamiya 645 1000s, Kodak Ektachrome E100,  E-6.Hog's Back in the FallLetchworth State Park

Hog's Back in the Fall, Letchworth State Park
Photographed with a Mamiya 645 1000s on Kodak Ektachrome E100 slide film and developed in E-6

We definitely frequent the south section of the park more and usually start at the Castile entrance and wind our way down. As such, it was a nice change of pace to travel north and explore the less familiar views. I have to admit, I could not even reliably remember the sequence of the viewpoints. I hope that's not a sign of deteriorating memory but rather a hint I should visit more often.

As you head north the river mostly straightens up and the number dramatic views disappear. Don't forget to stop at Hog's back though where the river makes a final zigzag. And it was at this stop where I realized how silly my opening comment about low water level was. Above, you are looking at the 2020 view with the river cutting just a very narrow path through the flood plain with the rest of it covered in vegetation. The 2021 view was much different. Genesee River was side to side, cliff to cliff, completely filling the whole valley floor. I can't wait to develop that film and put the photos side by side for a stark comparison.

Hog's Back Plain in the Fall, Letchworth State Park. Mamiya 645 1000s, Kodak Ektachrome E100,  E-6.Hog's Back Plain in the Fall, Letchworth State ParkLetchworth State Park

Hog's Back Plain in the Fall, Letchworth State Park.
Photographed with a Mamiya 645 1000s on Kodak Ektachrome E100 slide film and developed in E-6

As a bit of contradiction to one of my statements above I took advantage of the dry situation here and found framing that eliminated all of the water from my view. The river is still there if you know where to look but  no water is directly visible. Wow, how different a view of the same spot can be!

I hope you enjoyed the brief excursion to one of the best State Parks in New York. If this preview encourages you to come, you will not regret. It's a carry in and carry out park so please, remember to leave only footprints and take only photographs

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them (commission earned) and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Using my links or this search box costs you nothing and keeps me going. Thank you! #CommissionsEarned

 

Subscribe
RSS
Archive