Fallishness in Upstate New York


October Trail. The Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail passes under trees that are just starting to change into their fall colors in Voorheesville, New York.

Having driven west from Rhode Island, the locale of last week’s post, we settled in for a few days to explore the Hudson River Valley in the area generally known as “Upstate” New York. One might feel that “Upstate” would refer to being closer to Canada than New York City, but that is not the case—it pretty much means anything that is too far north to reach on the subway. Regardless, once you head north from New York City things get pretty in a hurry.

We had done our best to time our visit so we could enjoy fall color, but either we didn’t time it well or it was just a bit of an off year: the trees were a mix that ran the gamut from it’s-too-early green to it’s-too-late bare. There was a fair amount in between—mostly yellow—but also a lot of brownish, too. So, it was pretty, but hardly resplendent. So, while we were hoping for this:

Red Maple Leaves. A patch of red maple leaves are flaunting their namesake color in Voorheesville, New York.

we got a lot more of this:

Turning Maples. Maple trees start to change colors near Kingston, New York.

Sub-ideal colors aside, there were a lot of nice images to be had. This is one of my favorites, with maple leaves arranged like layers in a cake:

Layers of Maple. Rows of bright yellow maple leaves stand alongside the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail in Voorheesville, New York.

Thatcher State Park in Voorheesville also had some beautiful scenes. Here most of the white birch trees were already or nearly bare, but even so they add some nice detail in the right setting:

Autumn Tapestry. A variety of trees in varying colors cover an autumn hillside in Thatcher State Park, New York.

Driving around the small highways also yielded the usual assortment of photogenic old structures:

Barn and Silo. An old barn and silo, both badly rusted, stand roadside along Highway 23 in the Catskill Mountains, New York.
Long Barn. An old drafty barn stands roadside near Kingston, New York.

The long barn, above, would be a wonderful subject in the right light, but when you are driving random back roads a long way from home, you find what you find when you find it and generally have to work with it. Perhaps this image would make a good post-processing project for conjuring some better light…

Historically, this area had a lot of rail service. Many of these have been converted to “rail trails” for walking, biking, etc., as shown in the image at the top of this post. We walked several of these trails and there were plenty of opportunities for photographs of all sorts, including this junkscape:

Rust-Bucket. An old car slowly succumbs to time and weather in Stamford, New York.

I really can’t tell what color this vehicle originally was.

Finally, I wanted to share the following roadside find. This one goes along with an image from last week’s post under the general category of “Unnecessary No Trespassing Signs”:

Treehouse. A seemingly unnecessary sign warns squatters away from this large tree in Stamford, New York.

Next week we will conclude this journey in Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania. There will be no rust in that post, just beautiful waterfalls of various sizes.

Technical notes. All of the images in this post were taken with a Nikon Z7. The big star this week in terms of lenses was an F-mount lens, the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR, which was used for six of the nine images. The other images—”Barn and Silo”, “Long Barn”, and “Turning Maples”—used a Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens. Although these images were only from two years ago and both are nice lenses, I no longer own either of them, having upgraded to the Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S and Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S. All were processed from RAW in Adobe Lightroom Classic.

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2 responses to “Fallishness in Upstate New York”

  1. Absolutely delightful set of images. Congratulations. For what it’s worth, the maple leaves are my “favourite” – as you say, the layering adds a dimension. Your car image makes me wish I had joined the Light and Land Montana trip.

    [Anecdotally: decades ago, I was fortunate enough to be in Kentucky in the Fall/autumn, and was fascinated to see leaf forecasts on the TV. I am determined to return one day with a decent camera.]

    • Thank you, Rob! Leaf forecasts are very much a thing! I think there is still room in that L&L Montana trip. I would love to go, too, it’s just not a cheap one and I am planning a trip to Europe later in the year. But be sure to let me know if you come (or want to come) to the US sometime, fall or otherwise.