After a day of rain, the clouds peeled back around sunset to reveal the foothills of the Adirondacks to the south. This bucolic landscape (on the right side of the image) is actually the eastern reach of St. Lawrence University’s 1,000-acre campus.
In the foothills of the Adirondacks, the Raquette River was dammed for hydroelectric power. The town of Colton, New York sits on the resulting reservoir; the rapids in the foreground are the beginning of Stone Valley, an area of trails that I’ve photographed extensively in the past. The contrast between placid reflections in the reservoir and the dark currents of the river proper stand out during the blue hour.
The rapids of Stone Valley in Colton, New York have a certain stair-like repeating quality to them (at least for the 363-ish days/year during which the dam above keeps its spillway gates closed).
Farther along the river, the effect again repeats: stone ledges turn the rushing water into less-metallic slinky.
This isn’t a mere trompe-l’œil where a particular angle makes stair-like shapes appear in the stones and moving water. A view shifted by 90º confirms the structure.
The end of St. Lawrence’s school year means that the hikes through areas like nearby Colton’s Stone Valley will be coming to an end for many graduating seniors.
Living in this Adirondack-ish reality of the region presents opportunities to stand face-to-face with nature.
Quiet contemplation of the future is at the end of the trail.
I’ve previously compared the feel of St. Lawrence University’s campus in the winter to a ski resort missing its ski slopes; even from the air, the miniature snow city effect holds. Though I’m not sure I can explain the particular magic of this image, it currently holds the record has the most-liked picture on St. Lawrence’s Instagram. Perhaps it’s the glow of the setting sun on the buildings?