I don’t photograph people very often. As in in most of my photography people are not often the main subject of my photography. Except…. Except in a situation where the type of photography I am engaging in directly ties in to another one of my passions.

I love running. And as the years of running went by and I became more engaged with the running community I had opportunities to photograph races. As it turns out I really enjoy photographing races. And this part of my photography repertoire all began through photographing local road races for our local running club.

Running down the road during STRC New Years Day 5 Miler.
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As my interests in photography expanded one thing I became more interested in was photographing small things up close, or macro photography. One of the first types of subjects this encompassed was flowers. But, the more I looked closely at flowers the more I began to notice the insects that pollinate them. Often the pollinators are insects with wings that come and go.

The insects I see most often pollinating flowers are probably bees. I am no entomologist, so I am sure they are not all bees, but let’s call them bee like insects. I often struggle identifying insects so that is not the focus of this post. But I do love watching bees and their kind.

Bee visiting wildflowers at Tanglewood Nature Center in New York.
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Different times of the year over a variety of different things to enjoy in nature. One of the most distinct times of year is the transition from Winter to Fall in the northern hemisphere. Especially the farther north you live. Here in New York there is so much that I look forward to.

Spring in New York is a time of change. Nature begins to reclaim the earth in ways that shriveled away during winter. Plants have withered and gone dormant. Many animals have hibernated or moved away.

As days grow longer and the weather warms Spring begins to reassert itself. The earliest and most exciting sign of this for me is all about wildlife. The most obvious and dramatic change occurs with our feathered friends.

Red-Winged Blackbirds always seem to be some of the first birds to arrive in New York during spring migration.

Birds that are typically found farther north but sometimes flee to New York to escape especially harsh conditions or follow food trends return to their primary habitats north of us. Flocks of birds can be seen flying overhead as they migrate to their breeding habitat. And I begin to notice birds that spend the warmer months here in New York beginning to return.

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I never started visiting the Keuka Lake area until after I met my life. If only I had known what I was missing out on.

Keuka Lake like most of the figure lakes region is dotted with nearby wineries. It is always nice to have a spot to get indoors and have a nice drink when traveling around. Why not spend some tie relaxing at a winery if you are in the mood?

One interesting feature of Keuka Lake is the shape of the lake itself. Most of the Finger Lakes are long relatively narrow bodies of water. They are more or less straight lines that run north to south. However, Keuka Lake has a distinct “Y” shape with an eastern and western northern terminus. The shape of the lake gives Keuka Lake a very different feel and viewing experience for nature lovers.

Yellow Iris growing Along Keuka Lake in New York.
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I have come to enjoy birdwatching so much over the years. It was never something I would have anticipating enjoying. Even as a biology major who was interested in biology mainly because of a love of animals I never thought I would enjoy walking outside and looking for birds. I don’t think I even realized birding was a pastime people enjoyed.

Birds are truly amazing creatures. One of the things about birds that fascinates me is that they come in such a large variety of forms. Among the different categories of birds I think the category of birds that would make up Shorebirds might be the most diverse group of birds I can see.

When I say Shorebirds I do not mean the scientific or technical definition of what a Shorebird is. To me a Shorebird is a bird that spends most of its time around bodies of water. They do not generally swim in the water, but may wade out into the water. They live, forage, feed, and or nest in or around bodies of water. Water is key to their survival.

This Killdeer arrived in upstate New York before the official start of spring and there was snow still on the ground.
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I love the Adirondack Mountains region of New York. I have never had a bad trip there. Is it even possible to have a bad trip when visiting the Adirondacks? Any kind of adventure you want to have can be had in the Adirondacks. Any and all experiences are possible even the slightly terrifying ones.

There is so much to see and do in the Adirondacks I don’t know if anyone can ever see and do it all even if you live there. I tend to focus my attention on a few specific areas when I make trips to the Adirondacks. My favorite types of activities to pursue in the Adirondacks are Camping, Hiking, and Photographing waterfalls.

Sunset at Higley Flow State Park.
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I love Watkins Glen State Park. It is probably by far my most frequently visited state park. I visit this park for running, hiking, photography, or just to relax. This park has so much to offer.

A group taking selfies at the Cavern Cascade. Watkins Glen State Park.

Gorge Trail

Of all the state parks I have visited Watkins Glen State Park has the most beauty packed into the smallest package. Watkins Glen State Park is known for its waterfalls. Tourists from all over come to this park to see the waterfalls. And almost all of the waterfalls are along the Gorge Trail. The Gorge Trail is a short 1.5 mile trail. And along that trail you will see 19 waterfalls.

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I love trail running. I run mostly trail races. But most of my running miles are logged on roads. Roads are just more convenient and make sure I am at least getting some miles.

Last year I logged fewer miles in general and probably a lot l fewer than years past miles on trails. I was battling injuries most of the year so my running had to be really conservative. Trying to balance maintaining some level of fitness with avoiding increasing injury risk.

And suddenly it is 2023. And welcome to the Mt. Tom Challenge the 2023 edition held by Tyoga Running Club.

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Buttermilk Falls State Park is a beautiful state park situated in the Finger Lakes region of New York not far from the southern end of Cayuga Lake. As soon as you arrive at the park it is quite evident what makes this park so impressive. The first thing you see as you walk or drive into the main entrance for the park is the largest waterfall in the park.

Leaves flowing in the breeze in the gorge at Buttermilk Falls State Park.

The water flows down are large textured rock face. The waterfall cascades down like a slide into a pool at the bottom and then flows out of the park in a narrow stream. While this waterfall is great and impressive and easy to access please don’t stop there. For my money this isn’t even the best part of the park.

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I have always loved animals. Then after taking the one and only arts class I took in college I began to realize I could merge my love of animals with this creative side I never really thought I had. I dreamed of being a big game photographer.

Watching National Geographic and reading the magazine. Seeing the amazing photography and images of majestic wildlife. I wanted to do that.

As I began to explore photography I quickly realized I didn’t live in an area where opportunities to photograph the subjects I desired would be plentiful. For me those opportunities would be quite rare. But I still wanted to make sure I was ready for when those opportunities arise.

If you want to photograph subjects like Bears and Moose and Elk, but you don’t have those types of subjects where you live. You want to make sure you are able to take full advantage of any opportunity that you have. You want those few and far between opportunities to result in some really nice images.

White tailed deer lost in the snow storm in Upstate New York
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