I suspect this is the last “legal’ image of the Barberville Falls which was taken in a torrential rain storm on the day before public access was prohibited. I headed over to the falls during a day in a week of torrential rain storms hoping to see some thundering billowing waterfall action. The surprise was that the Nature Conservancy of Albany has closed down access to the falls for the entire summer, starting the day after I took these images. There surely was not a person in sight for the three hours I was there. It was an ugly weather day but I needed a waterfall fix and I was not disappointed.
Getting to the base of the falls is very tricky, fairly steep and the path is not maintained. The upper falls has a wonderful granite overlook and you can see some great whitewater. However the base is where the roaring 90 foot drop ends, mist is blown upward and a unique mini-climate exists. I have been here a number of times and was as prepared for the drenching as possible. My Nikon D4 had the new 18-35mm f/4.5 lens, the image was shot at 1/400 sec,ISO 800 f/3.5. I wasn’t looking for a creamy water flow image, I wanted the raw untamed roar, mist and power of all this cascading thundering water
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was a fogged up viewfinder due to incessant blowing mist. I resorted to Live view, which was okay because I was taking the images on my tripod. It was great being at this location, springtime leaves were just beginning. The coolness of the mist and wind which gets pushed forward by the water hammering into the base of the falls translates into a unique waterscape image.
To bad that some Agency, 30 miles away, thinks they need to protect the public from enjoying this spot, there is almost never anyone here. The public paid for this land and the right to use it. The Nature Conservancy of Albany is supposed to be the stewards of public lands, putting up an ‘access denied’ sign projects an Agency in need of realignment to its mission statement. More politics than a problem, I’d love to know the backstory, ‘The New York State Police, the Rensselaer County Highway Department, and the Town of Poestenkill support the decision to close the preserve.’ The relevancy of these groups is suspect, really ? the highway department, a few selectman, one or two landowners ? I don’t see the long time residents who have enjoyed the falls for years, real people, students, kids supporting or voting this decisions. They are upset because they have no voice and no advocate, ….I’d stay away from any type of membership or donation to this Nature Conservancy, stay out of Poestenkill and spend your time and money elsewhere, they don’t want you, so reciprocate…until they set things right. Signs signs everywhere a sign, don’t do this and don’t do that….thank you Lord. I’m doing fine…
A better agency to find out more about the falls and access is the AMC, Hudson Chapter.