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Mother Nature Giveth ...and taketh Away by Gene Walls

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Mother Nature Giveth ...and taketh Away by 

Onondaga Waterfall was the last stop that I had planned for my day long hike through Ricketts Glen. It was getting dark fast, so I was really “hoofing it” up the Glen Leigh Trail to make it to this spot before all of the evening light had faded away. As soon as the waterfall came into view, It was apparent that I was going to have a problem getting the perfect shot I had been hoping for…

Earlier in the day, I was praising Mother Nature for kindly removing the old dead tree from the R.B. Reynolds Falls site. I finally got to see and capture an unobstructed view of that beautiful waterfall for the very first time.

Well, here at the last planned shooting location of the day, I found myself using words that couldn’t be confused with “praise” at all. Yes, I was cursing out loud. (Fortunately, I was the last person that was still out here on the trail, beyond the reach of sensitive ears.) The light was absolutely perfect for shooting Onondaga

…But a very tall tree had fallen clear across the plunge pool, onto the steps on the other side! There was absolutely no angle available to shoot over it, and no way to shoot under it, without getting very wet.

Well, That’s nature. Always changing, sometimes in a wonderful way …and sometimes not so much.

I didn’t come all this distance for nothing, so I shot Onondaga just as I found it, fallen tree and all. At least I will have a truly unique view of this waterfall, just as it appeared on this very fine October evening.

This photo was captured very late on October 18th, 2011, well past sunset. It was taken with a Canon 30D DSLR, through a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L lens at the 17mm focal length. Manual exposure was used, the shutter speed was set to 1.3 seconds, with an aperture of f/7.1. The camera’s ISO was set to 125. No filters were used for this shot, due to the very dim lighting conditions. The camera was mounted on a Manfrotto tripod, with a Manfrotto 222 Pistol Grip head. A remote shutter release cable was also used.

This is the last waterfall at the very top of Glen Leigh, near the junction with the Highland Trail. Ricketts Glen State Park is located close to the small town of Red Rock, PA, at the junction of Pennsylvania State Routes 118 and 487. The park is about midway between Williamsport and Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania, in the north eastern region of the USA.

Your comments are always welcome! Constructive criticism is appreciated.

© 2011 Gene Walls

All copyright and reproduction rights are retained by the artist. Artwork may not be reproduced or altered by any process without the express written permission of the artist. This includes my image AND THE 100% ORIGINAL TEXT that describes the work. A copyright watermark is embedded within the image to guarantee successful prosecution, in the event of any violation.

FEATURED in “The World As We See It”

Hello, My name is Gene. I live in the Susquehanna river valley (West Branch), in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. I strive to produce photographic images that are simply “true” to the subject, usually with minimal post processing. If something is beautiful or interesting enough to deserve a viewer’s attention, it justifies being captured just as it is …or as close to reality as possible.

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  • RVogler
    RVoglerabout 3 years ago

    Wonderful image, great story :) Congrats on an incredible series!

  • Thank you so much, Regina! I had a fantastic day in the woods there. I decided to post all of the shots I took, in the exact order that I shot them. My idea was to allow viewers to “come along” on this 9 hour hike with me, through pictures and descriptions. I’m so glad you enjoyed the series (…and the hike)!

    Kindest wishes,


    – Gene Walls

  • fotoflossy
    fotoflossyabout 3 years ago

    My goodness this is beautiful!! Awesome work!

  • Thank you very, very much, Tammy! I’m so glad you like this shot! I was afraid nobody would like it because of the downed tree blocking the view.

    Kindest wishes,


    – Gene Walls

  • CanyonWind
  • Thank you very, very much for this Feature, Pop’s! I deeply appreciate this extremely kind honor!

    Most gratefully,


    – Gene Walls

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