Tiff Nature Preserve Photo Album added to site

I added a new photo gallery to my Digital Photography site: Tiff Nature Preserve – the pictures are from a hike I took with some of my kids in October of 2004. At the time there was a wild bee hive on one of the paths. A week after I shot these photos it was destroyed by vandals.

-> Go to the full Tiff Nature Perserve Gallery

Here are a few sample shots:

Click on any image for a larger view

Tiff Nature Preserve

Tiff Nature Preserve

My Afternoon Hike To Eternal Flame Falls, Orchard Park NY

Today I went to visit a good friend of mine in the nursing home. On the way back to the office I was inspired to see if I could find Eternal Flame Falls. I have lived in this area for over forty years and never once bothered to find the falls. The other day I was reading a web page that gave directions to it so it was fresh on my mind. Seeing it was on the way home I decided to give it a try.

Well, I cannot believe I have never bothered to hike to this falls before. I have passed its location HUNDREDS of times in my life unaware. It is located on Shale Creek – a tributary to Eighteen Mile Creek, in a beautiful section of Chestnut Ridge Park. I was VERY much impressed with what I found. It was only a half mile or so walk through a forest of hemlocks, pines and maples. The path is clearly marked and it is easy to find.

I guestimate the falls is over 40 feet high. The water level was very low considering the time of the year. What is special about this falls is the natural gas feed flame that burns in a section cut out in the Hanover shale behind the water fall. The weird looking trees with the roots exposed give the unique spot an erie feeling. I wish I had my tripod with me as it is a lowlight area. I will have to get back when the water is flowing in a greater volume and get some better pictures for my Gallery.

Click on any image for a larger view
Eternal Flame FallsEternal Flame Falls

Eternal Flame FallsEternal Flame Falls

Interesting day today – from Instanbul, Turkey to Zoar Valley Hike

The day started out with a long distance call from two friends who just happened to be in Istanbul, Turkey. They are missionaries reaching the people of Bulgaria. They took a trip into Turkey to pass out Christian literature. Last year I was able to go to Istanbul and had the opportunity to speak to some Muslims about the Lord.

Went to work and got the office cleaned up, was out on vacation the last week. Saw that it was a beautiful day with blue sky and nice cumulus clouds and thought – “hmmm need to get the boys down to Zoar Valley one more time before summer is over.”

So we did just that. Hiked from Valentine’s Flat parking lot to Point Peter. This is a awe inspiring lookout point to the Saddle Back at valentine flats.

Looking from Point Peter to Saddleback Ridge & Valentine Flats

We then kept going left on the ridge to a nice lookout point where there is a memorial to Todd Shea, who must have fell there to his death. The date of his death is on my birthday – January 9th. There is a huge “old growth” grape vine near the place – it is has to be 12 inches in diameter. We then hiked back down the path and to one that leads to the creekside. We took the central path to the creek. It is a beautiful path with some excellent bird viewing. We saw a red tailed hawk within 50 yards perched on a tree. No picture as Frankie spooked it before I could get my camera up. I schooled him on how we need to be quiet when we get an opportunity like that.

Well, we made it down to the creek and I took a bunch of pictures upstream toward the Confluence and Saddleback Ridge. Also pictures downstream toward Point Peter, some came out great.

We then hiked toward the Confluence and turned right going upstream on the South Branch. Around the bend was an old favorite spot, “the Point.” It is around 200′ up. I have scaled down the side of the Point numerous times in the past. It is a very difficult climb down – and up, forget about it. Needless to say I was not going to try with my camera equipment and the boys in tow, even though Frankie at age 10 is an excellent climber. Tim is very good to at age 15. Took some good pictures of the Point and then we headed back downstream on the South Branch toward the Confluence.

The Point

We crossed over the Main Branch just past the Confluence and went into the wooded terrace to find Buff Falls. It is located on the north canyon wall in the woods about a third of the way downstream between Saddleback Ridge and Point Peter. It was flowing but not much. Took some nice shots and will have to get back after a good rain for better ones. Located some huge “old growth” trees in this terrace.

We crossed back over the creek and headed back up to the Valentine Flat parking lot for the trip home. We were rewarded by the good Lord with a beautiful sunset.

Pictures and write up asap on my Zoar Valley page and Photo Gallery. That reminds me I need to get some pictures up from my trip to Bulgaria and Turkey one of these days.

Yo, anyone out there? 😎