…winter grasse – part one
Yesterday’s exposure to the ice on the Oswegatchie River put a chill on my inclination to play with fire. Now my burning passion is to photograph frozen waterfalls. (again please bare with me – this post will load slowly due to the number of photos being displayed)
The waterfalls in downtown Canton, NY are probably the easiest to access in the north country. Parking is handy and a short walk (under a quarter mile) along the Grasse River Heritage Trail loop leads to waterfalls on both sides of the island.
I’ll start on the Main Street (US RT 11) bridge. Looking upriver.
Looking downriver. Two open channels mark the river’s path around the island.
The bowstring bridge connecting the island can be seen in a cropped version of the photo.
Looking down at the open channel from the bowstring bridge. Like tree rings the parallel ridges in the snow mark the growth of the ice sheet. A couple more sub-zero nights and the channel should freeze over.
The Cascades can be seen looking from the other side of the bridge. No, no, not the falls. I meant my honeymoon retreat, the diner and motel on the far bank. Long story short – I was dairy farming at the time. I could only get off for 3 milkings so we spent our wedding night close to home. Dairy cows are so unromantic.
A closer look from the bridge at the top of the waterfalls below the Cascades’ dining room. Water flows from two falls in narrow channels meeting near the center of the photo where it disappears under the ice.
From a lookout point on the trail it is easy to see the chruning water emerging at the bottom of the falls.
I went off the trail to get the next set of photos. I don’t recommend following my lead. You should never trust ice on a fast flowing river.
I didn’t think it’s been all that cold this winter and was surprised to see the waterfalls completely frozen over.
The flat area just in front of me in the photo above is a relatively calm pool. I figured (correctly) it was safe enough to cross to the snow covered rocks just beyond the ice. I really wanted a better shot at the icicles at the bottom of the falls.
Between these 2 photos you can get an idea how the river churns at the base of the falls.
I was tempted to leave my rock perch and go farther but pushing your luck is generally a bad idea. This is as close to the falls as I was willing to risk.
Whitewater. This is the source of the churning water seen from the lookout point.
After retreating to safer ground I took this photo of the Grasse River below the falls. The islands are only ice sheets that look like they formed around large boulders exposed above the river’s surface.
13 photos already? I better stop while I still have your attention.
I hope you return to see the next exciting episode when I once again go somewhere I know better. I still have the other side of the island to show ya.