The imagery here, except for the ones
of the Ashokan Reservoir, is all from the mid-1980's and was taken with
an 8"x10" (film size) wooden view camera, like the kind that
Ansel Adams used for his breath-taking work of the American 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
). Glorious view, but an endless switch-backed
road that was miserable in the winter.
My then-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
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
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.
Title: Approaching Storm over Bearvile, Woodstock, NY 1984
...a last shaft of light greens the ridge of Tonshi Mountain. The
barest glimpse of the Ashokan reservoir can been seen beyond...
Title: Gathering Storm over Ohayo & Tonshi Mtns, Woodstock, NY
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.
Bearsville Valley, Early Fall
Title: Setting Moon, Bearsville Valley, Early Morning, Early Fall,
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
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
Title: Clearing Spring Storm, Mt. Guardian from Overlook, Woodstock,
....then the glowing promise of a sunny spring day
Spring Sun, looking across the Mead's Mountain House notch at Mount
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
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,
Title: Overlook Mtn from the Zena Cornfield, High Cirrus, Woodstock,
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
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
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
Title: Fall Ferns in Gold, Mink Hollow Road Lake Hill, NY 1986
Boulder & Fall Leaves, Mink Hollow Road
Title: Boulder & Fall Leaves, Mink Hollow Road,
Lake Hill, NY 1986
Fern Jungle, Mink Hollow Road
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
fed by the Mink Hollow Stream and the rain falling on the
Deep in the woods.....
Title: Mink Hollow Stream, Deep Shade #2, Lake Hill, NY 1986
... and sparkling through the sunlight
Title: Mink Hollow Stream, Fall, Sunlight #1, Lake Hill, NY
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
Title: Cooper Lake, Winter Twilight, Lake Hill, NY 1986
Cooper Lake, early spring sunrise, drifting ice
Title: Cooper Lake, Spring Sunrise, Drifting Ice, Lake Hill, NY
and in spring sunrise....
Title: Cooper Lake, Spring Sunrise, Lake Hill, NY 1986
You can see into the water and the rocks and depth beneath in the
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
Title: Methodist Church Interior, Shady, NY 1987
Windows, Shady United Methodist Church
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:
Title: Tree, Spring Sunrise, Veteran, NY 1987
The seasons again...
that brief time in spring when every tree flies a different shade of
Title: Spring, Trees in Bud, Pasture & Barn, Stony Hollow, NY
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...
Title: Wild yam, poison ivy & dragon fly, Swamp, Highland, NY
The dragon fly is in the bottom left corner, perched on a blade
...and fall, when the apple orchard is weighted with fruit and
sunset glows in the boughs...
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.
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
Title: Gathering Storm, Ashokan Reservoir #1, Ashokan, NY 2010
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
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
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
for availability and pricing of my images as art prints
suitable for framing, printed in archival FujiFlex.
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