Woodstock NY Area Landscape Gallery

The imagery here, except for the one of the Ashokan Reservoir, is all from the mid-1980's and was taken with an 8"x10" (film size) wooden view camera,  the kind that Ansel Adams used for his breath-taking work of the West. It begins with work taken from what is perhaps the highest house above Woodstock, on the western end of Overlook Mountain, some 200' above the Tibetan Monastery at the old Mead's Mountain House (Google Map location).  Glorious view, but an endless switch-backed road that was miserable in the winter. 
My wife Sue and I were married and lived there for nearly two years.  The views were incredible, in all kinds of weather....

More information on purchasing these images as fine art prints at the bottom of this page

The Bearsville Valley

The glory of a high summer's afternoon with light singing in the air

Bearsville Valley, High Summer,
        Evening Light #1 Woodstock, NY 1984
Title: Bearsville Valley, High Summer, Evening Light #1  Woodstock, NY  1984
...looking down the valley towards Bearsville (Woodstock is out of sight just to the left).  Technically, this image is flawless and suffers not in the least at being enlarged to 4'x5'

The wrath of a thunderstorm marching up that same valley

...approaching storm...

As I first saw it, coming up the Bearsville valley from Wittenburg, darkening all before it.
 I was firing up the barbecue at the other end of the house when I heard the baby sitter say, "Wow, look at that!".  I dropped everything and ran to the camera.
Approaching Storm
        over Bearvile, Woodstock, NY 1984
Title: Approaching Storm over Bearvile, Woodstock, NY 1984

Gathering Storm

...a last shaft of light greens the ridge of Tonshi Mountain. The barest glimpse of the Ashokan reservoir can been seen beyond...
Gathering Storm
        over Ohayo & Tonshi Mtns, Woodstock, NY 1984
Title: Gathering Storm over Ohayo & Tonshi Mtns, Woodstock, NY 1984

Breaking Storm

Breaking Storm
        above Bearsville, Bee Tree Hill, Woodstock, NY 1984
  Title: Breaking Storm above Bearsville, Bee Tree Hill, Woodstock, NY 1984

This is almost the same view as the first image on this page, over Bearsville in high summer....the ridgeline on the right can also be seen there in the first picture.
The weather was always dramatic.  Sometimes (I never captured it), the valley would be filled with mist, like a sea, with the hills and mountains become islands.

In Fall....

Bearsville Valley, Early Fall

Setting Moon,
        Bearsville Valley, Early Morning, Early Fall, Woodtstock 1984
Title: Setting Moon, Bearsville Valley, Early Morning, Early Fall, Woodstock 1984

Late Fall

Late Fall,
        Bearsville Valley, Woodstock 1984
Title: Late Fall, Bearsville Valley, Woodstock 1984


Looking further north, across the Mead's Mountain House notch at Mount Guardian

From the west facing slider of the house, you looked across the notch...the Tibetan Buddhist monastery (once Mead's Mountain House) is about 200' below.
Three views, all from the same viewpoint....

  Ice storm, Winter's Deep

Ice storm, looking
        across the Mead's Mountain House notch at Mount Guardian
Title: Ice Storm, Mt. Guardian from Overlook, Woodstock, NY 1984

But spring would come...first the tumultuous storms

Clearing spring storm, looking across the Mead's Mountain House notch at Mount Guardian

Clearing Spring
        Storm, Mt. Guardian from Overlook, Woodstock, NY 1984
Title: Clearing Spring Storm, Mt. Guardian from Overlook, Woodstock, NY 1984

....then the glowing promise of a sunny spring day
Spring Sun, looking across the Mead's Mountain House notch at Mount Guardian

Spring Sun,
        looking across the Mead's Mountain House notch at Mount
        Guardian
Title: Spring Sun, Mt. Guardian from Overlook, Woodstock, NY 1984

We left the mountain house we'd been renting for a year and a half; it had been sold for $85,000 to the owner of a national cable TV channel! 
The focus of my images moved to our new home in Mink Hollow in Lake Hill and the wider Woodstock and Hudson Valley areas

Overlook Mountain seen from the Zena cornfield, High Summer, Cirrus Clouds

Overlook Mtn from
        the Zena Cornfield, High Cirrus, Woodstock, NY 1983
Title: Overlook Mtn from the Zena Cornfield, High Cirrus, Woodstock, NY 1983

It is so difficult to be able to take this sort of image....you need an long uncluttered foreground, increasingly rare.  Thankfully, the cornfield has been preserved in agricultural use by the efforts of the Woodstock Land  Conservancy. This image predates the television tower....only the fire tower and the derelict hotel are visible on the ridge line.

Mink Hollow

Around 1986, Sue and I purchased our first house, in Lake Hill up Route 212 from Woodstock,  a modest starter home off Mink Hollow Road.
It had once been a major wagon road to the interior of New York state; hard to believe, then Lake Hill was a much bigger town than Woodstock. 
Now it is a quiet road through the woods that eventually becomes a hiking trail..  There are glorious things to see........

Fall ferns in gold, Mink Hollow Road

Fall Ferns in
        Gold, Mink Hollow Road Lake Hill, NY 1986
Title: Fall Ferns in Gold, Mink Hollow Road Lake Hill, NY 1986

Boulder & Fall Leaves, Mink Hollow Road

Fall Ferns in Gold, Mink Hollow Road Lake Hill, NY 1986
Title: Boulder & Fall Leaves, Mink Hollow Road, Lake Hill, NY 1986

Fern Jungle, Mink Hollow Road

Fall Fern Jungle,
        Mink Hollow Road, Lake Hill, NY 1986
Title: Fall Fern Jungle, Mink Hollow Road, Lake Hill, NY 1986

Kingston's Water: Mink Hollow Stream & Cooper Lake

Lake Hill, oddly enough, has a lake on top of a hill, Cooper Lake.  It became the municipal water reservoir for Kingston, NY in 1800,
 fed by the Mink Hollow Stream and the rain falling on the surrounding hills.

Deep in the woods.....

Mink Hollow
        Stream, Deep Shade #2, Lake Hill, NY 1986
Title: Mink Hollow Stream, Deep Shade #2, Lake Hill, NY  1986

  ... and sparkling through the sunlight

Mink Hollow
        Stream, Fall, Sunlight #1, Lake Hill, NY 1986
Title: Mink Hollow Stream, Fall, Sunlight #1, Lake Hill, NY  1986

Mink Hollow
        Stream, Fall, Sunlight #2, Lake Hill, NY 1986
Mink Hollow Stream, Fall, Sunlight #2, Lake Hill, NY  1986
"...and the sabbath rang slowly in the holy streams.."

Mink Hollow Stream finds it way to..............

Cooper Lake, winter twilight

Cooper Lake,
        Winter Twilight, Lake Hill, NY 1986
Title: Cooper Lake, Winter Twilight, Lake Hill, NY  1986

Cooper Lake, early spring sunrise, drifting ice

Cooper Lake, early
        spring sunrise
Title: Cooper Lake, Spring Sunrise, Drifting Ice, Lake Hill, NY 1986

and in spring sunrise....

Cooper Lake,
        Spring Sunrise, Lake Hill, NY 1986
Title: Cooper Lake, Spring Sunrise, Lake Hill, NY 1986

You can see into the water and the rocks and depth beneath in the foreground.
In the distance, the horizon, under your feet, the depths: As Above, So Below, the mythic words of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus

Below Lake Hill is Shady, NY and a lovely little church...

Just down the road from Lake Hill towards Woodstock is Shady, a little gathering of houses and a gorgeous vernacular architecture church, utterly sui generis: The pulpit and altar are in a corner; the whole thrust of the space is on the diagonal.  The carpenters that built it had their own ideas of how to glorify God, and every detail is meticulously and lovingly done; they are long gone, their names lost but the dedication and love of their work still sings....

Interior, Shady United Methodist Church

Methodist Church
        Interior, Shady, NY 1987
Title: Methodist Church Interior, Shady, NY 1987

Windows, Shady United Methodist Church

Methodist Church
        Windows, Shady, NY 1987

Further Afield

The Dawn of Creation

One of the lessons of photography is that creation is all about us, continually unfolding.  This image was taken on Route 212 one fine early spring morning:

Tree, Spring
        Sunrise, Veteran, NY 1987
Title: Tree, Spring Sunrise, Veteran, NY  1987

The seasons again...

that brief time in spring when every tree flies a different shade of budding green

Spring, Trees in
        Bud, Pasture & Barn, Stony Hollow, NY 1987
Title: Spring, Trees in Bud, Pasture & Barn, Stony Hollow, NY 1987

If you're familiar with Route 28, this is below a set of billboards just before the Hess gas station on that side.  It is now quite overgrown, with trees 20' high in the meadow

 then summer, deep in a swamp, the greenery runs rampant...

Wild yam, poison
        ivy & dragon fly, Swamp, Highland, NY 1987
Title: Wild yam, poison ivy & dragon fly, Swamp, Highland, NY 1987

The dragon fly is in the bottom left corner, perched on  a blade of grass

...and fall, when the apple orchard is weighted with fruit and sunset glows in the boughs...

Apple Orchard,
        early Fall, New Paltz, NY 1987
Title: Apple Orchard, early Fall, New Paltz, NY 1987

This orchard was alongside the New Paltz New York State Thruway access road.  If you were leaving the toll booths form the Thruway, it was on your right.  For whatever reason, it was razed and is now a bare field.  Again, images of glory are all around us if we but look.  One evening in the 80's, I exited the toll booth at sunset, glanced right and was caught.  It's like a seduction of sorts....I notice a hint of what's there...and then the more I look, the more I see until I'm all but gasping.

Digital Imagery

The preceding imagery was large format 8"x10" film-based; what follows here is digital imagery done with a Canon 5D MkII  and MkIII with a 24-105 zoom,
all of New York City's Ashokan Reservoir, its first and one of the great engineering feats of the early 20th century

Annunciation

Ashokan Reservoir
        #1, September 2010
Title: Gathering Storm, Ashokan Reservoir #1, Ashokan, NY 2010

Mystery

Dusk after Storm,
        Ashokan Reservoir #2, Ashokan, NY 12/8/2012
Title: Dusk after Storm, Ashokan Reservoir #2, Ashokan, NY 12/8/2012

This is an interesting image.....because the subject matter is inherently soft (misty and impressionistic), there isn't the detail that would limit credible enlargement
I've successively printed this at 4' by 7'; it is stunning, with the resonance of a deep thundering bass chord from a church organ.

The Mountain King

Clearing
        Storm-Ashokan Reservoir #3, Ashokan, NY 12/25/2012
Title: Clearing Storm, Ashokan Reservoir #3, Ashokan, NY 12/25/2012

I had gone to see my daughter and family the day after Christmas...they live some miles beyond this mountain.
I saw the mountain as a slumbering mythic presence, with mist gliding between its flanks....


When the work of imagery is going well and I am "in the groove", there is a return to innocence and an overwhelming sense of wonder

...once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and
cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

Dylan Thomas' Fern Hill

My apologies for the watermark, in place to preclude image piracy.  These images are also Digimarc digitally watermarked.

See here for availability and pricing of my images as art prints,
suitable for framing, printed in archival FujiFlex.

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