Fall Color, Finally

Fall Color, Finally
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In late October or early November, I make a point of going to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, sixty miles south of my home in mid-Missouri. I’m seldom disappointed by the fall colors the landscape has to offer. I made the trip on Monday, with temperatures in the sixties and partially cloudy (wispy) skies.

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The patches of red that are visible are dogwood.

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There may be few maples in our area, but they draw my camera like a magnet.

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This view is one that I never fail to photograph. It’s the outflow from a natural spring found at the base of one of the bluffs. The water (56,000,000 gallons, daily) can have an amazing blue hue on a cloudless day.

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I spent several hours walking 4.5 miles of trails within the park, with an elevation change of a couple hundred feet, from the Castle down to the water, and then up again along the bluffs.

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This tree, now bare, sits on the ledge visible in the photo above it.

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The area has numerous karst formations, including this natural bridge.

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Designed to be a home, later a hotel, The Castle at Ha Ha Tonka is bare stone walls, the result of a devastating fire in 1942.

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A great photo of The Castle in its prime can be seen here.
Meanwhile, within five miles of my home, this bluff always offers a spectacular autumn view.

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And in my back yard, this hickory.

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Sadly, the colors don’t stay forever. This is the same tree, three days later, after rain and a couple of cool nights. I’m sure the other trees are soon to follow. Oh well, there’s always next year.

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Ha Ha Tonka fall photos from the last two years can be found here and here.

Ken G

Traveling to Cleveland

Traveling to Cleveland

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Four major attractions are found within a quarter mile radius on the Cleveland waterfront: the Great Lakes Science Center, the William G. Mather, First Energy Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The William G. Mather is a great Lakes freighter that has been converted into a museum, and First Energy Stadium is the home of the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. I stayed for an hour to take photos, then went on to visit my son before driving home the next day.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an amazing building from any angle.

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Ken G.

Traveling Out of Buffalo

Traveling Out of Buffalo

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Driving south from Buffalo, along the lakeside, means crossing the Buffalo River. Grain silos dot the landscape, remnants of a time when the city was a major grain hub at the eastern end of the Great Lakes prior to the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which provides access to Lake Ontario. Many of the silos have been re-purposed, but General Mills still continues to operate a grain mill and cereal production facility. Less than a half-mile away, the smell of roasting Cheerios sometimes wafts through downtown Buffalo.

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Wilkeson Pointe is located along the Lake Erie shoreline at the outer harbor. With the breeze coming off the lake, the wind sculptures offer a pleasing sight as they turn nearly non-stop.

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Vineyards are prevalent along the hillsides on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, from Erie, Pennsylvania. north into New York State.

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Cleveland is a 90 minutes drive along the lake, southwest of Erie.
I stopped by the waterfront to take some photos before stopping for the night, bu those photos likely won’t appear here until after I arrive home in Missouri, tomorrow evening.

Ken G.

Traveling Around Buffalo

Traveling Around Buffalo

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Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours at Penn Dixie Fossil Park, located south of Buffalo, NY.   Formerly a quarry for the Penn Dixie Cement Company, the shale at the site is a treasure trove of fossils from 280 million years ago, during the Devonian period. It’s known for the trilobites that are found there. I was able to find a couple of partial trilobites, but most of the fossils I found are horn corals.

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This morning, I went to the Buffalo Transportation / Pierce Arrow Museum, which has a variety of early motorcycles and automobiles, including, of course, Pierce Arrows, luxury cars that were built in Buffalo.

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1919 Pierce Arrow Town Car

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1931 Pierce Arrow Model 43 Roadster

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1936 Pierce Arrow Model 1601
(1931 Pierce Arrow Series 43 Club Sedan, background)

The gem of the collection is a 1933 Pierce Arrow Silver Arrow, of which only five were made.

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There’s an amazing structure that was built within the museum using the original design for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Filling Station, which was planned to be built in downtown Buffalo in 1927, but was never realized.

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The Pierce family motto, “dixit et fecit,” roughly translated as “he said and he did”

On the road to Cleveland tomorrow, then home.

Ken G.

Traveling at Night

Traveling at Night

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The Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada & Buffalo, NY, USA (l.to r.)

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For all the times I’ve photographed this bridge at night, I think these are the first with fog.

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Below the Peace Bridge

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Great Blue Heron below the Peace bridge

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Canada Goose in the Black Rock Canal, Buffalo, NY

Ken G.

Traveling – to My River

Traveling – to My River

Before moving to Missouri, I spent a lot of time on the Niagara River – diving, boating, kayaking, and just sitting on the shore – particularly along this one stretch of the river, which happens to be a good place to find driftwood. One of those, in the third photo, is going back to Missouri with me.

(Clicking on each photo will open a tab with a larger view.)

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The “cloud” at center horizon is the mist from Niagara Falls, nine miles distant.

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Ken G.

Traveling Farther

Traveling Farther

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The Fort Niagara Lighthouse, Youngstown, NY

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The ramparts of Fort Niagara

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Just passing by
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Beach glass from the Lake Ontario shore

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The rapids above the American Falls at Niagara Falls, NY

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American Falls (foreground) and Horseshoe Falls (background)

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The Horseshoe Falls, seen from the observation tower at Niagara Falls, NY

Ken G.