Tonawanda News

Features

October 22, 2012

North Tonawanda resident contributes to new waterfall book

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

Ensminger estimates he’s probably seen somewhere close to 800 waterfalls, though that largely depends on one’s definition of a waterfall.

“I wrote letters all over the world trying to find out what the minimum height for a waterfall is. The state of Pennsylvania says anything from several inches to several feet,” he said, adding that New York’s minimum is 16 feet.

“I chose five feet because I have friends into white-water rafting who said any (rapid) over five feet is pretty dangerous and involves risk of life,” he said. “You have to draw the line somewhere.”

The book serves as a vehicle for Ensminger and the other two authors to share their knowledge and experience in tracking down waterfalls throughout the state. The three provide suggestions on safety and how to identify different types of waterfalls — classical, curtain and ribbon, and ribbon or falls — to thoughts on how best to photograph a waterfall. Ensminger said views the book more as a guide than a pretty coffee-table book.

Two pages are devoted to each waterfall, which include a small write-up, a full-page color photograph, directions and a fact sheet listing size, waterfall type, walking time and peak activity, among tidbits of information.

When asked to point out his favorite, Ensminger is quick to suggest a trip to Tinker Falls in the Finger Lakes region.

“It has an overhang big enough that you could drive a school bus behind it,” he said, although “it’s tough to get a decent shot of it because of the way the water is” a very thin veil.

Another bit of information readers might not find in the book?

“Don’t go this time of year,” Ensminger said.

You’ll find just “one little trickle of water,” he added, saying it’s been a bad year in general for waterfalls due to drought conditions.

Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.

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