Scenes from Hunter’s Creek Park

Yesterday’s photography location was Hunter’s Creek Park. Officially named “Sergeant Mark A. Rademacher Memorial Park”, the location is more generally referred to by its original, and now informal, name, which comes from the creek that runs through it. Hunter’s Creek Park is one of the most rugged parks in the Erie County Park System, with its most dominant feature being the gorge through which Hunter’s Creek runs. This being the case, the park is a “conservation” park, which means that aside from the two small gravel parking lots at either end (the park roughly runs north-south), there are no facilities at all. No shelters, no rest-rooms, nothing. Just trails, some of which are very popular with mountain bikers. The larger Conservation Trail, which is a part of the even larger Finger Lakes Trail System, partially runs through Hunter’s Creek Park.

Here are a few of the photos I took yesterday. More in this Flickr album.

As soon as you enter the trail you’re enclosed by vegetation that feels like a tunnel. It’s an amazing feeling: there’s no transition at all. One step down the trailhead and BAM, you’re in the wilderness.

The gorge’s walls are loaded with temporary waterfalls like this. I imagine this only runs in spring, with snowmelt, or for a few hours after a heavy summer rain. There are also many gullies for feeder-streams, just all of which are as dry as this, which run into Hunter’s Creek. You have to be careful when hiking here. Steep drops abound.

A study in shadows. I like this shot a lot. I thought about flicking that dead leaf aside, but I chose not to. I’m generally averse to modifying the scene that nature provides for me.

This is new since I was last here, a few years ago! That’s a launch platform for mountain bikers. You can see the steep drop to the right, and at the bottom of that someone made a ramp to jump over a big log, and farther on a smaller ramp for another jump. I actually set up at the bottom, shifting my camera to Shutter Priority mode and dialing up the ISO so I could attempt a biker-in-midair shot if an opportunity presented itself, but no bikers came along in the few minutes I waited. Alas! Maybe next time.

I love how this turned out. Ditto the previous shot. It only took me a few months of owning this camera to learn that it has a Macro Focus setting for close-ups of small objects like this!

This is not a pose! I’m actually taking the preceding shot here. I just decided that, needing a self-portrait here, I should set up my phone to take my picture while I took the intended picture with the main camera. Two birds, one stone, you know the drill!

Even though it’s now September and everyone is mentally filing away Summer 2023 into the memory bank–and in a way they’re right, as “Meteorological Fall” has already begun–the summer isn’t showing signs of giving up just yet, as The 716 is in for a stiff dose of very hot weather this week, and yesterday was pretty warm for hiking purposes. If I wasn’t carrying along my good camera I might well have dipped myself in one of the creek’s deeper pools! I’m better at managing high heat than I used to be, but I’m unlikely to ever really love the heat, and I welcome the return of the cooler temps we enjoyed last week. Fall will come, after all, and I tend to file “Temps above 80 after Labor Day” along with “Snow after St. Patrick’s Day” in my head: even though they happen every year, I find them annoying.

But photography is about the light, after all, and the light is most definitely taking on a more autumnal feel now. It won’t be long before the trees do, as well.


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