Saturday, November 26, 2011

Letchworth Park (cont'd) -- © Dave & Donna Spier

Railroad bridge 234’ above the river at Upper Falls -- © Donna Mason-Spier

Train on railroad bridge 234’ above the river at Upper Falls -- © Donna Mason-Spier

[Part 1 of this article is the previous post directly below this one.]
Roughly 350 million years ago [during the Devonian period, named for Devon, England where rocks of this age were first studied], western New York was still submerged under an inland sea near the equator. Sediments washing down from the Acadian Mountains to the east continued to fill the basin with layer upon layer of deposits that solidified into a thick sequence of shales, siltstones and sandstones now partially exposed in the Letchworth gorge. [For comparison, older rocks deeper in the Catskill Delta are exposed at Taughannock Falls State Park, profiled in an earlier blog (see October 27). The Tully limestone at the base of the Taughannock gorge formed as a shallow reef near the edge of the inland sea between Middle and Upper Devonian time.]

Rainbow in the mist below Upper Falls -- © Donna Mason-Spier
After exploring the Upper and Middle Falls, we drove north and briefly stopped at the Archery Field Overlook next to Great Bend canyon. Sometimes there are Turkey Vultures from the resident flock working the air currents, but today we didn't see a single one.

Great Bend canyon south from Archery Field overlook-- © Donna Mason-Spier

Great Bend canyon north from Archery Field overlook-- © Donna Mason-Spier
Our final stop of the day at Letchworth was Wolf Creek and a walk out to the point. Steep cliffs drop to the river below. A short spur trail to the south leads to a Red Pine barely clinging to the dry rim. Erosion has left the inner roots exposed at the base of the trunk.  In the park, Red Pine is at the northern limit of its range.

Red Pine on the rim near Wolf Creek -- © Donna Mason-Spier
Donna had predicted a nice sunset and sure enough we got one, although we had to detour to find an open view to the west-southwest.  After taking a few shots, we found a wet corner of the field with a nice reflection as the color began to fade.

Sunset from Freshour Rd. near Shortsville -- © Donna Mason-Spier

1 comment:

jparks said...

The sunset picture is beautiful. Nice photography!