0416: Too Nice to Be Inside

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Today I have three groups of fresh images – all thanks to the onset of Spring. It’s just too beautiful to sit here writing so I’ll be brief. The first group are snail shaped fossils found at the quarry this past week. They are generally much harder to find up there (compared with brachiopods – they’re next). So my season of digging and hunting for fossils has begun on a good note!

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Next are the brachiopods – again, all (and many more) from the same two visits. It’s easy to forget that all of these squiggly little things, these marine invertebrate life forms lived right here nearly 400 million years ago!

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And there was plenty of time to reacquaint with the neighboring woods.

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Finally, a reminder – my current show at the Marist College Art Gallery will remain up until Saturday April 25th. If you should find yourself in the Poughkeepsie area please come by. It’s a beautiful show in a terrific space. (The above image courtesy of my dearest friends at Katvan Studio).

Thanks for today’s visit.

0409: Leaving Winter Behind

IMG_8175_01_LR_12Spring seems to be something of a tease here in upstate NY these days. One day the sun comes out and the temperature beckons us to partake. The next day overcast with chance of evening snow showers. All this will pass soon and when it does the whole world will blossom.

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This past week I caught a bit of both – the dying gasps of winter and the final disappearance of snow and ice – and on the following day a sunny, warm and successful first trip to my favorite quarry.

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These first few images come from the neighboring beaver pond, still with the last remains of its icy cover. What the pictures don’t reflect were the sounds that filled the air – from peepers to scores of ducklings – alerting us to the fullness of the season about to unveil itself.

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The following day, rather than being cold and rainy, was a nearly perfect Spring day. And no better way to spend it than climbing around the hilltop quarry just down the road. Jacket cast aside, hammer and chisel in hand, it felt great to once again climb through the woods to one of my favorite fossil sites.

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It was a good haul for the first trip of the year. These images came from the rocks I filled the back of the car with. In many cases the fossils shown here were not visible at first. Rather, they were buried within the rocks, waiting for the hammer crack that freed them from four hundred million years of darkness.

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This last one comes from an area in the quarry that is much more “shale-y”, rock that is much more easily crushed into gravel for fill and driveways. It’s also where various chemical processes have played interesting color games. This particular rock bears the imprint of a gastropod. I believe the gastropod that sits on the rock (on the left) is the one that left the imprint.

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That day had enough time left for me to reach for a prop that had been waiting patiently on a studio shelf. Many more good days ahead to play with this one.

For now, though, I formally say goodbye to winter and the last of the snow that made my driveway impassable for months.

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Thanks for the visit.

 

 

0402: Coral

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Several days ago, while we were experiencing the (hopefully) final snow melt, the first fossil to show itself was this piece of Devonian coral. It’s one I had found down at a local dry creek bed last year. So, first to catch my attention this new season deserved to be immortalized – a funny notion given that its age is somewhere in the neighborhood of 387 million years old.

Later that day I ran across a wonderful series of modern day coral images made by photographer Silvie Burie. I thought I’d share a few with you today (they are the four square images to follow). While their beauty is undeniable, so too is their general fragility, given issues of global climate change – particularly the changing temperatures of ocean currents. Just something to think about as I juxtapose Ms Burie’s subjects with images of their ancestors found here in the Hudson Valley.

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Before I finish today, I’d like to take a moment to thank Mr. Ed Smith, Gallery Director and Professor of Art at Marist College, for giving me the opportunity to show my work at the Marist College Art Gallery. The opening reception was last night and the show will run through April 25th. Mondays through Saturdays 12:00- 5:00.

Ed’s a real master. He treated my new series better than I could have possibly imagined and made it (along with the work of painter Fran O’Neill) into a wonderful show. I couldn’t have been happier. So, if you are in the vicinity of the gallery please drop by and have a look.

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And, finally, I’ll leave you with two new images. I pulled out a few fossils I brought back from Italy and decided to explore some new treatments.

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Thanks for the visit.

0326: Marist Show_continued

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For those unable to attend I thought I’d share more of the upcoming show today.

The opening image is titled “Gilboa Tree Fossil 3768.”

Here is the information, including directions, for anyone interested in attending:

Wednesday April 1st – Saturday April 25th

Gallery Hours: Monday thru Saturday – Noon ’til 5pm

Opening Reception: Wednesday April 1st – 5pm -7pm

Marist College Art Gallery

3399 North Road

Poughkeepsie NY 12601

Directions – From Route 9, turn onto Fulton Street and make the first right onto Beck Place. The studio and gallery are at the end of the street, on the right.

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Thank you for the visit.

0319: All Packed Up

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Just finished packing up all my prints for my upcoming show at Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY – Opening on April 1st (Wednesday) 5-7 PM. For all my NYC friends it’s a fine opportunity to drive an hour north and take a midweek break. For anyone and everyone else interested please come out and join us. Marist has a wonderful large gallery that I will be sharing with painter Fran O’Neill. 

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For those who can’t make it I thought I’d share the images with you this week and possibly next week. Not much else to add, so please enjoy this mix of images.

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Thanks for the visit.

0312: Almost Spring

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We hit fifty degrees yesterday – what a welcome relief! Spring is near. For whatever reason, my thoughts turned to the trees that are soon to bloom. So I put together a group of tree images for the post today. No fossils this time. Hopefully melting snow will uncover some and provide me with fresh new fossil pics. Until then please enjoy what Mother Nature surrounds us with. (More on Mother Nature at the end of this post).

Today’s opening image is from an olive grove near the town of Assisi.

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Siena, Italy

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Vermont

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Lake Champlain, NY

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Paris

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Boboli Gardens, Florence,Italy

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Platte Clove NY

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Leonardo da Vinci birthplace, Vinci, Italy

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Cairo NY

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Lexington VA

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Opus 40, Saugerties NY

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These four color images are possible late additions to my upcoming show at Marist College. The opening is set for April 1st, 5-7pm. More on that in days to come. For now I thought they would be a good counterpoint to all the black and white.

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This last one is part of an entirely different project. I had to include it since I just finished it and I think it holds much promise.

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A final note – regarding Mother Nature. I was knocked out by a video that a friend posted on Facebook yesterday, so much so that I needed to share it with you. It comes from the website Nature is Speaking. There are eight brief two minute videos beautifully shot with voiceovers – very powerful statements that need to be considered. Perhaps a donation might be in order.

Thanks for the visit.

0305: Ice

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Ice, not snow, has been the bane of my existence this Winter. The thick ice that blanketed my driveway at the beginning of the season will finally leave when Spring gets here. So, like most all of my neighbors, the thought of 40 degree weather gives us hope.

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It was ironic, then, that another encounter with ice should leave me positively elated. Last weekend, friends of ours (Pat and John), who live right on the Hudson River, invited a small group over to experience the ice on the river and share the strange magic of a walk out onto the Hudson. The day was beautiful. No wind. The sun was bright. And two feet thick ice was the “ground.”

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Most of the ice was covered by 4-6 inches of snow. There were areas, though, where the wind cleared off the snow and other areas where irregularities created uneven surfaces that allowed the ice to bubble up, thus providing me with the best surprise of the day.

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Looking into these clear spots was like viewing a cats eye marble – fascinating patterns under the surface. Like the old adage about how every cloud has a silver lining, the thick ice of the Hudson held much beauty and surprise as well as some quiet, solemn moments in nature.

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Last week, I chose to explore outtakes from my visit to the Yale Peabody Museum. And I was surprised that so many fine images went unnoticed through the first round of selections. Since the snow has prevented me from producing fresh, new fossil images I decided to look through the library for other museum experiences. I’m happy to have rediscovered the work I did at the Museum of the Earth (the Paleontological Research Institution). So today I have some fresh outtakes from that experience.

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One last note about the Hudson River experience. I was so excited by my discoveries that I went back out there the following day. Gone was the tranquil warmth and quiet solitude – replaced by winds that blew so hard I could barely stand in place. Sometimes all of life is in the timing!

Thanks for the visit.