Fall Sequel to the Spring Prequel

January 22, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Nikon N75, Nikkor 28-105DNikon N75Nikkor 28-105D Alright, since the title suggested there would be a sequel let's get it out before it collects too much dust. The outside world looks nothing like this right now. After a complete lack of winter presence things changes about a week ago on Saturday and it's been snowing steadily since. At the moment, looking through the window, it's a typical Western New York scene out there with everything covered in white. I like winters like that. Cold and snow make everything look clean. Well, at least in the outdoors. The urban environment usually does not keep that look for long as salt turns the snow into a dirty mush everywhere.

Anyway, Im already off on a tangent so let's get back to this fall day. The photographs below will hopefully bring warmth to those of you that are not winter fans. We'll go through the Newton Entrance loop of Chestnut Ridge Park on the western side of the park. It's about 4.5-mile long and one has a choice to follow the paved road or hit the trail in the woods that follows the road for the most part. But stay alert or you may end up elsewhere!

Old Stone Well House, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkOld Stone Well HouseChestnut Ridge Park

Old Stone Well House, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

I would normally prefer the trail through the woods and walked it here several times too but the road has its advantages, especially when I have a camera on me. What can be better than leaving civilization at a distance and disappearing in the woods? Well, Chestnut Ridge Park features some wonderful manmade stone structures that have attracted my attention for years! and they are on or along the road looping through the park. Of course, this road is enjoyed at its best when it's closed to vehicular traffic as cars passing by can lower the enjoyment. And in winter, one has to hope not to run into a snowmobile day. It happened to us once or twice and the only solution was to turn around and go to the eastern part of the park.

Logs over Creek, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkLogs over CreekChestnut Ridge Park

Logs over Creek, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

This walk was fully focused on photography and getting in the approximately 4.5 miles was just a wonderful side benefit. However, I still decided to keep things very simple to be able to move along the loop at a brisk pace. I grabbed my plastic fantastic lightweight Nikon N75 and the 28-105 D Macro zoom lens. I am always happy with the photos the combo gets me and am also happy I did select this lens when I was looking for a simple KIT a few years back. Its macro capability often comes handy and overall its image quality is perfectly fine for my taste and expectations for the 35mm film format.

The camera had a little bit of a break in 2023 as I was exercising my later autofocus addition, the Minolta Maxxum 5. When it comes to features, the Minolta is the better camera of the two and I am growing to like it more and more. At the moment, I only have couple prime lenses for it though and for hikes on the light I was happy to pull the Nikon from reserves.

Among Fairies, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkAmong FairiesChestnut Ridge Park

Among Fairies, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

The above photo "Among Fairies" shows the wonderful versatility of the 28-105 D Nikkor Macro lens. Even handheld, one can document the tiny natural world and capture photos complementing the story of a single hike beyond what a casual hiker will spot. One just needs to be open to getting their knees dirty.

Among Trees, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkAmong TreesChestnut Ridge Park

Among Trees, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

Scenes like the above trees often grab my attention. However, they do not usually result in a quick snap and moving on. The initial moment of spotting an opportunity is usually followed by a photographic dance. A foot forward or back, left or right, can often alter the frame quite dramatically. Here, I tried to control the spacing between the trees to insure none of them overlapped or got too close to one another.

Bridge across Bubbly Waters, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkBridge across Bubbly WatersChestnut Ridge Park

Bridge across Bubbly Waters, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

Bridges lined with stone walls are one of those manmade structures I like about the road through the park. They fit the natural environment so nicely and I am glad they have still survived and the county even tries to maintain them as such. A concrete wall, a metal railing, or even a guardrail would just spoil the whole scene for me. So I take pictures of these elements just in case they bite the dust. Do you also notice and appreciate little things like these?

There are more bridges lined with stone walls further down the loop that were recently repaired and new construction techniques were used to make them sturdier and increase their longevity. They don't quite look as beautiful as the old-fashioned style above but I understand and appreciate the effort to balance cost and looks.

Bubbly Waters, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkBubbly WatersChestnut Ridge Park

Bubbly Waters, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

The scene under the bridge is very eye-catching too. One of the signature features of the Chestnut Ridge Park are its ravines, often filled with year-round or seasonal creeks. White bubbling water complements the fall colors so well! And the shale rock is not too shabby either!

Trees often get very creative finding a way to cast permanent roots and I have been a keen observer for many years. One year, I even focused on trees along trails with my "In the Woods" series but that one is still waiting for its time.

Rooted, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkRootedChestnut Ridge Park

Rooted, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

The next photograph is very special to me. The Lost (and Found) Mossy Well House has been in the making for a long time mostly because it was, well, lost. A while back, a year or two (or three) I had spotted this beauty on my walk through the park but for whatever reason did not take a picture. Not even with a cell phone. Later, I kept trying to find it when I had a camera on me but could not. And then one day, it was there, right in plain sight.

Not only was I very happy to take a photo of it with the film camera but I also snapped it with my smart phone to preserve its geolocation just in case my memory fails me again. Maybe I am crazy but I love this well house. The gorgeous stonework alone makes this a picturesque structure to photograph but add the roof fully covered with moss and the perfection is complete! I am so afraid it won't last much longer. Judging by the other well houses spread through the park it is just a matter of time for the roof to give in to water and things go bad quickly from there. I need more photographs and I need to keep my hopes that maybe the county will decide to save this one! Please.

The Lost Mossy Well House, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkThe Lost Mossy Well HouseChestnut Ridge Park

The Lost Mossy Well House, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

The strange thing? As I found one lost well house I lost another. The opening photo of this blog post? I tried finding that dilapidated well house twice already and it's nowhere to be found. It's frustrating on one hand, funny on another, and actually quite motivating to get me back looking for it. Maybe my mind is playing mental trick on me to keep me walking.

Rooted II, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkRooted IIChestnut Ridge Park

Rooted II, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

See, we are back to the tree roots again. These are rather straightforward and yet asked to be photographed too. The green moss disappearing in the layer of dry fallen leaves created its own magic. Nature is such a wonderful painter!

Vertical & Horizontal, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New YorkVertical & HorizontalChestnut Ridge Park

Vertical & Horizontal, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, New York
Photographed with a Nikon N75 and AF Nikkor 28-105 D  on Kodak Portra 400, developed in expired C-41 chemistry

Congratulations, we are at the end of the 4.5-mile loop with some natural geometry, a rectangle in the woods. I can't wait to be back there again. Maybe I will find the newly lost well house, maybe something new will catch my eye! And I will let you in on a secret. I have already walked the loop several times since capturing these photographs and even have a snowy edition in the works. If you stick with this blog it might even come out at some point.

Thanks so much for visiting (again) and enjoy the scenery wherever your hikes take you!

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. And for more black and white photography hop over to the World without Color photo collection.  

The Music of Fall at Birdsong, Path between Colorful Trees, Autumn in Orchard Park, New York (NY).The Music of FallBirdsong Park Foggy Meadows and Fences at Sunrise, Knox Farm, East Aurora - Buffalo, New York (NY)Meadows and Fences at SunriseKnox Farm State Park Eternal Flame Falls Ravine and Creek in Chestnut Ridge Park in the Fall - Autumn, Orchard Park, New York (NY).Eternal Flame FallsChestnut Ridge Park


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