0730: Out of the Woods

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Lately, just about every turn I take I run into another story about Lyme disease ( and the stories get worse and worse). These encounters leave me less and less prone to engaging in my usual summer activity of hiking stream beds in search of fossils. Those same stream beds will be there when conditions change. Fortunately, the thousands of rock and fossils I have carted here over the years give me ample material to work with.

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Combine that with the various props, surfaces, etc. that have also accumulated around here and I realize that I have more than enough to choose for subject matter.

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So, some of today’s images are the result of visits to the prop pile and the curiosity cabinet for inspiration!

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(Yes, that’s the same shrunken mushroom that appeared in the last two posts – can’t seem to get rid of it!)

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A heavy fog slowly lifted the other morning. This was some of what I saw.

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Spider webs appeared on the ground, helping to create this vignette at my rock pile. The Mexican religious artifact had been lying there for a while. You never know what might be laying around at this place.

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Tomorrow night (Friday), take a look up. It’s a blue moon!

Thanks for the visit.

0723: Hot Summer Days

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I thought last week’s mushroom pics were enough on the subject for now. That was until Cindy eyed this one near our home. Aside from its horrible odor, these first three images show that it was definitely worth some attention.

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This last image is from one of last week’s mushrooms – a week later, sufficiently shriveled and taking on a very different look.

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The big story this past week was the heat (No, not Donald Trump). Here in the Hudson Valley we were spared the worst of it, compared to those to the south of us. I even saw that Italy and much of the Mediterranean were dealing with 100+ degree days.

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Nonetheless, it was plenty uncomfortable around here. Whenever that occurs my escape route usually leads to the nearby creek where the difference in temperature can be as much as ten degrees. But, instead of a relaxing reprieve, I found myself running into fossils wherever I looked.

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These all appeared on the rock surfaces along the creek and all have been long exposed to the elements (including an often overflowing creek).

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This last fossil did not come from the creek. Rather, I just this morning broke it out of a rock. A small edge was exposed in a very dense rock that I had found a number of years ago, and I thought it inpenetrable – that is, until today. A couple of carefully placed hits to my chisel and the whole thing was exposed. I think it is a dipleura (a Devonian trilobite) – Anyone more knowledgable than me (and there are plenty of you out there) please feel free to weigh in. It is approximately 2″ wide and 2.25″ long – somewhat larger that the field guide suggests. Either way, it was a real treat to uncover this one.

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Finally, this picture was released yesterday by NOAA. It is the first time the planet has been photographed since the iconic “Blue Marble” image was taken from Apollo 17 in 1972. This one was taken by a NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory from one million miles away. It’s another fine space story – science at its best. Follow the links to read the story in full.

Thanks for the visit.

0716: What the Rain Brought

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Thanks to the recent rains (and other various conditions present) the signal went out that it was mushroom time. Seemed like everywhere I looked I saw them – all different types and shapes. And while I know very little about mushrooms (hell, I don’t even like eating them!), I must confess that they can be very interesting subjects. I have a few new fossil images at the end of this post. In the meantime I’d like to share these mushrooms with you. I found all of them at home and at my studio. No searching was involved.

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I found this one growing in a mulch pile. These first five images are the same mushroom – the above image at the mulch pile and the others back in the studio.

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Here are some of the others.

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And now, some new fossil images.

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I know you have probably heard by now about Pluto and the New Horizons spacecraft and its adventures. I can’t find the words to adequately describe the brilliance and commitment of those at NASA who were responsible for this feat. They are the same brilliant minds, the staff at NASA, who are constantly threatened by ignorant elected officials in Congress. Their crime – the desire to turn their attention to issues of climate change.

So, as we formally say hello to Pluto (above) and its moon Charon (below), let’s hope that good sense might prevail here at home.

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Thanks for the visit.

0709: Revisiting

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Last week I brought you a series of images from the Thompson Street Cemetery in Catskill. Today I’d like to bring you more from that shoot. These images, though, are quite different from the others. I was particularly taken with the backs of many of the headstones and the wear they have suffered over the past 150 years. In a way, they remind me of the images I brought back from Maine last year – the coastal rocks and the patterns found there.

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The colors are not what you would expect to find in a cemetery – they actually seem to be full of life.

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This image, heavy on color and texture, should serve as a reasonable segue into some new fossil images. Over the years, several of these fossils accidentally fell from their places of honor on my deck railing and into a thicket of ferns that surround the deck. Who knows how long they were lost in that thicket (It was very thick indeed!). Having rediscovered them, I am happy to bring them to you today.

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I also found time to revisit the beaver pond to check on the waterlilies. Luckily, someone else had the same thought in mind (although I think fish were the object of this guy’s pursuit!).

Thanks for the visit.

0701: Enjoy the Holiday Weekend

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I’m a day early with this post. The holiday weekend is just about upon us. I hope you have a safe and happy Fourth. Today’s opener you might remember from a few years ago when a group of photographer friends gathered to shoot the annual Saugerties parade (and turned it into a bang-up show the following year). It was especially appropriate to show it again as it was just chosen for a show entitled “War and Peace” at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont, opening July 23.

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The other day I paid a visit to the Thomas Cole home (National Historic Site) to see a friend. It’s a great place to visit, directly across the Hudson from Olana, home of Frederick Church, once a student of Cole’s. The earliest art movement in American history, the Hudson River School, was born here. And its legacy remains.

Cole was buried just down the road at the Thompson Street Cemetery, a site I have been curious about for a long time. And so, fresh from conversation about Mr. Cole,  I decided to pay a visit to the cemetery. Rain forced me to eventually leave, but not before this little adventure yielded some interesting results

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Most of the headstones I saw ran from 1850 to 1900. And many of them were in various stages of disrepair. In fact, more than a few are just neatly piled pieces.

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I have often found that trees in cemeteries can have a particularly stately, almost regal, quality. This one is a perfect example. I suppose what impresses me most is that, left undisturbed, they completely rule. Nothing stands in their way. Witness the two small headstones (above) being shoved around by the massive roots. Or the reverse side (below) literally swallowing a large stone.

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By the way, I never did find Cole’s grave. I know it’s there  – another good reason to return.

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I’m still breaking rocks from my last quarry visit. These first two show broken pieces on my rock breaking surface (a bigger rock)!

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Driving back to the studio i passed the neighboring beaver pond – flush with water lilies.

All in all a pretty good day.

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I’ll leave you with one last image from the cemetery – one that sticks in the mind.

Thanks for the visit.

0625: Busy Days

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These days I always have more than enough to do in the studio. It’s a joy and a blessing to spend my days this way. And I am happily engaged. The return to drawing is providing  more and more thoughts and ideas – new things to try – different approaches to familiar landscapes, if you will.

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It will ebb and flow in its usual way. For now, though, it’s proving to be stimulating – a great start to Summer.

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Yesterday morning delivered a bright sun and a cool breeze, And it made me think about the neighboring quarry. In the past, weekly visits were often †he norm. But lately, like I said, I’ve been busy. I’ve only been up there a few times since Winter’s passing. I was overdue for a visit. So I went. Everything else could wait. The picture above shows only a small number of the rocks that came back with me – plenty of discoveries to come. For now, here are a few early ones:

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I’ll leave you today with something completely different – from another series I am working on.

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Thanks for the visit.

 

0618: Convergence

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Since I took my last show down a number of weeks ago I have been able to explore some ideas that have been sitting on the back burner, so to speak. My long dormant desire to draw has once again been reignited.

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It seems quite logical to have occurred at this point in time. My new photographic work (for the past year or two) has focused on creating lush, textural prints – often looking like the results of some non-photographic processes.

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The drawing, at this point, is quite exhilarating and I try to split my days between shooting and drawing. Needless to say, with the two efforts happening side by side, there are opportunities for  points of confluence to begin appearing.

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One such intersection point fits nicely with my recent efforts to find different backgrounds for my fossil images. Today’s images are some early results.

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Thanks for the visit.