Monday, September 8, 2014

Waning Summer

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
08 Sep 2014 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - N03 (Cortland, NY) - SDC 1.6 1335.4

Warrior 481 was due for an oil change and, as we all know, hot oil drains best. Warming the oil is one of my favorite excuses to fly. For the record, my other favorite excuses to fly include (1) so-called $100 hamburgers, (2) vacations, (3) visits to airplane museums, (4) giving airplane rides, (5) visiting friends and family, and (6) because I feel like it.

With a Monday evening flight decided upon, I needed a destination. Hmmm... I was uninspired. I fired up ForeFlight on the iPad and overlaid fuel prices on the digital chart. Cortland County Airport in Cortland, NY had the lowest fuel price ($5.55/gal) within a thirty minute flight of Sodus. Bingo, destination chosen! It was as good a reason as any and I have only landed at Cortland once previously.

As I flew over the north end of Cayuga Lake and the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, both aglow under the warm rays of a setting sun, a subtle change was visible in the landscape. There was a color shift toward the red that could not be fully explained by the amber sunset.

Summer was ending and, in its waning, the landscape hinted at autumnal magnificence.

I did not plan to take any photos until I saw this odd, partially flooded washboard below.

Trucks threw long shadows on I-90 as they passed through the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge.

The Erie Canal passes near Mary's Point Pool in a confluence of waterways and roads.

This swamp on the north end of Cayuga Lake would almost resemble some of those images of nebulae collected by the Hubble were it not for that cabin in the upper right corner of frame.

Cayuga Lake is the longest of the Finger Lakes (38.1 miles long).

Long shadows were thrown across a quilt whose squares were no longer the uniform green of summer.

The nighttime flight home under a full moon was also beautiful, but in very different ways.


  1. I love number 6... My favorite reason. The pics are awesome.

    1. Thanks! 1-5 are all pretty much just pretenses for #6.

  2. Chris, I tried to leave a comment this morning but it dumped me out. Ok here goes reply number two.

    Love the pics, especially the long shadows. Summer is sadly coming to its end and the fall maiden will be teasing us. May she bring CAVU days and we'll live with cooler temps. Unfortunately the winter witch is also just around the corner..... Boo, hiss

    For now we enjoy the great colors that nature shares!

    1. Thank you, Gary. Winter has it's charms, too...if you can get the #!%& hangar door open! :-)

  3. Spectacular shots as always. I've made a few evening cross-countries myself over the past month... there's just something about the lighting when the sun is low on the horizon that really brings out the pure magic of flying!

    1. There's a good reason that photographers often refer to this time of day as the Golden Hour! But, yes, it doesn't get much better than that, does it?

    2. Nope. It's 95% of the reason our impromptu formation flight on the 4th of July resulted in such great photos!