A shot of the lower half of the falls.

I did very little editing, mostly just made it a bit brighter, and didn’t fiddle with the balance or boost the “color saturation,” or whatever it’s called.

I think the color comes from minerals and perhaps fresh-water algae.  Pale blue?  Pale turquoise?

The Crayola box (the big one, my go-to reference for art stuff) indicates “aquamarine,” but when I look online at a color chart, that’s way too green.

“Bluish” will have to do.


Clean Waters, Finger Lakes, FLX, Nature, NY, snow, Things to Do When Your Water Crystallizes on You, Upstate New York

Taughannock Falls & Icicles, Tompkins County, February


42 thoughts on “Taughannock Falls & Icicles, Tompkins County, February

  1. pinklightsabre says:

    Yes, stunning is the word. More so, were one of those ice swords to snap off and strike you! And I like your go-to is the big Crayola box, aquamarine style.

  2. It’s good you didn’t fiddle with the picture, Roger. No need for that. It’s fabulous!
    I’ve seen that colour at Lake Gjende in Norway.
    What about the color blue mixed with turquoise? 🙂

  3. Darts and Letters says:

    I’m glad reader Steve Schwartzman flagged the blurriness issue, I clicked on the image to more fully investigate and……wow! That’s really nice! By the way, is ice climbing a thing at all, in some places back east? Maybe it doesn’t get cold enough for long enough, sustained periods? There are places around the Intermountain west where it’s quite popular. Off the top of my head the only place I can think of at the moment is Hyalite Canyon in Montana, by Bozeman. That might even be one of the meccas, I think. I’m no expert but I believe the blue in ice and snow has more to do with light and sure enough there’s plenty of interesting reference that I found in a quick search on the web. But I also found a misleading source which said it’s the same principle as why the sky is blue but that’s not exactly true, it’s a little different. On the other hand, there is red snow and that’s an algae thing. We call it watermelon snow, you’ll find it up high in the Cascades. Melting it and drinking it like red kool aid is not a good idea 🙂

    • I’ll avoid the red and yellow snow both. Although watermelon snow sounds kind of pretty.
      I don’t know anyone personally who does ice climbing, but I have seen people doing it a few times, near Ithaca and Naples. With all the crumbly shale around there, seems like a risky proposition. I guess it’s pretty big in the Catskills though and the Shawangunks, but I’ve never really spent any time there.

  4. What a glorious photo, Rob. I’d never seen such blue ice until I cruised Glacier Bay, where many of the glaciers had almost exactly this bluish tinge. As I recall, it has to do with the density. Glacier ice is much harder than ‘ordinary ice’ — I’m sure the density and hardness are related. If I had something like this in my neighborhood, I’d overcome my dislike of cold in a minute. What a sight it must have been!

  5. I love photographing frozen waterfalls. So much complex formation to explore and this is a really nice one, Robert. Plus if I were to travel west of Western Massachusetts, Taughannock Falls is on my bucket list of places in New York to visit.
    Blue ice is one of winter’s thrills…and chills. 🙂

  6. Stunning photo! I love those colors–it is hard to pinpoint exactly the blue/green combination that they make–whatever that color is, I want a dress in that color now.

  7. Whatever you want to call it, I think it’s amazing! My mother and I used to disagree about bluegreen – she always saw more green, I saw more blue. Interesting. I guess this is bluish and a little greenish. And very impressive!

  8. Whether the colors are blueen or grue, they are remarkable. So is the photograph. An amazing expanse of ice. Is Taughannock Falls is the tall waterfall north of Ithaca?

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