Grassy Island Creek flows westward out of the Moosic mountains into the Lackawanna River at Jessup, Pennsylvania, a small town near Scranton in the middle of the Anthracite Valley. Yesterday I visited the creek where it passes under the huge artificial embankment of U.S. Highway 6 at about the middle of its course from Scranton to Carbondale.

Figure 1. Grassy Island Creek, U.S. Highway 6 and Jessup cemeteries. Google Maps.

I came across the Creek while visiting the Jessup cemeteries, one of which is visible at about the center of figure 1. Where Sunnyside Road hooks around and crosses the creek above the cemetery I pulled over and captured a number of images, upstream and down.

Figure 2. Grassy Island Creek downstream from the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

Downstream I loved the rock cliff beside the stream bed, the colors of the rocks and the foliage, the way some trees grow directly out of the rock, and how the cobbles of the bed are visible through the water (figure 2). It’s like one of those old Romantic paintings of (for example) the Hudson River School, but at 1/100 scale.

Figure 2a. Thomas Cole, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow. (1836). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 08-228. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

So I paid attention to each element, trying to capture them in less cluttered ways.

Figure 3. Romantic overhang; Grassy Island Creek downstream from the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

In figure 3 the waters and autumn colors play second fiddle to the overhanging rock and the cliff. All we need is Daniel Day Lewis in Deerslayer garb looking left and shielding his eyes with this hand. “Stay alive! I will find you!” I never saw the film, but I did see about a million commercials for it.

Figure 4. Dominant Grassy Island Creek downstream from the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

The creek itself dominates with a wide angle lens pointed sharply downward (figure 4).

Figure 5. Autumn colors above Grassy Island Creek downstream from the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

And finally, the autumn colors get their day against the cool greys, cyans (lichen?), and browns of the cliff face (figure 5).

Figure 6. Drainage channel into Grassy Island Creek downstream from the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

Walking upstream, toward the artificial embankment, we find drainage channels lined with stones to prevent erosion (figure 6).

Figure 7. Hill rising above Grassy Island Creek downstream from the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

The old natural hill cut down by the creek still exists (figure 7), though a lot of it has been covered by the artificial embankment.

Figure 8. Grassy Island Creek emerging from under the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

Graffiti marks the exit of the drainage channel that runs under the artificial embankment for U.S. 6 (figure 8). Also interesting are the projecting blocks in the concrete bevel running along the stream banks from the exit. Quite a few have been broken off. I suppose they served to break the easy flow of heavy waters or they snag and slow down tree trunks or other heavy objects carried by floodwaters.

Figure 9. Oak tree on bank of Grassy Island Creek downstream from the U.S. 6 embankment. Jessup, PA. Photo: author.

Lastly (figure 9) I saw a beautiful oak tree along the bank with an exquisite ensemble of greens, yellows, oranges, and reds.

Nikon Z 7ii with Nikkor Z 24-200 mm f/4-6.3 lens.

Figure 2. 34 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/100.
Figure 3. 66 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/80.
Figure 4. 24 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/80.
Figure 5. 104 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/100.
Figure 6. 24 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/250.
Figure 7. 24 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/250.
Figure 8. 44 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/80.
Figure 9. 79 mm, f/8, ISO 400, 1/125.

All author images cleaned up in DxO and edited in Luminar AI.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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