Today I visited one of the more overlooked parts of the Genesee River, the Lower Falls. It’s not quite as scenic (or as high) as High Falls and gets far fewer visitors. Unlike High Falls, however, it’s still an active hydroelectric site under the control of RG&E. Among other things it was once home to a small settlement, with a mill and other buildings that exist now only in bits and pieces.
Next to the Lower Falls site, is Maplewood Park. The park boundaries have been changed over the years, likely because of proximity to the steep cliffs of the river gorge. This structure was abandoned and placed well behind a fence. Nevertheless it gets lots of visits. I would have been one of them but I didn’t have the proper gear with me and thought it best to visit another day.
When the City of Rochester built the Inner Loop, it destroyed a number of neighborhoods and made dead end streets out of busy thoroughfares. Worse, it never actually accomplished its goal (assuming it wasn’t just displacing poor people) and was devoid of significant amounts of traffic for the most part.
Now the city has decided to fill in much of it and create space for commercial development. But it’s been slow going. Glacial is perhaps a better term. It’s been a year and this is what’s been done so far.
Stopped by the Five Arches Bridge in Avon, NY to catch some of the Fall foliage. Yellow is definitely the dominant color this year but most of the maples haven’t started to turn yet so there’s still a chance for other colors.
Although it’s not the prettiest time of year I stopped by locks 32 and 33 on the canal, one of my favorite places to photograph.
Stopped by one of my favorite locations, Gonsenhauser’s farm site in Brighton.
We know the US government did a lot of testing of atomic bombs in the years after WWII and that many of these tests were done above ground. That these tests were pumping dangerous levels of fallout into the environment was less well-known, except to Eastman Kodak and other photographic film companies.
Kodak was first made aware of the fallout issue in 1946 when customers complained of fogged film. Investigation showed that Indiana corn husks used as packing materials were contaminated with the radioactive isotope iodine-131 (I-131). They told no one.
Then in January of 1951, following a test in Nevada, Kodak scientists detected spiked radiation levels in a snowfall that measured 25 times the norm (Kodak measured 10,000 counts per minute of radiation, compared to recent unaffected snowfalls that registered only 400). Note, this was 1,600 miles away from the test site. This time they quietly informed the Atomic Energy Commission and an industry group of their findings. The AEC did basically nothing until Kodak threatened to sue them, at which time they promised to keep Kodak and other photographic film companies aware of when they were testing along with sending meteorological information to help predict when fallout might reach them. The AEC told no one else.
The Erie Canal crosses the Genesee river in Genesee Valley Park. On either side of the river are guard locks which are used to isolate the canal so it can be drained in winter.
Some more black & white film photography, this time with my Zorki 4 35mm rangefinder camera.