The Gilboa Forest

My good friend, Ms Linda VanAller Hernick from the New York State Museum, and her associates, are in the spotlight and part of the cover story of the March issue of Nature Magazine entitled “The Lost World.” It was their work that has led to the discovery of the floor of the world’s oldest forest. Personally for Linda “This is the culmination of a lifelong interest” as she told Paul Grondahl of the Albany Times-Union. It’s a fascinating story involving a number of scientists working together over a considerable period of time and well worth a read. I can’t do it justice so please go to any of the following links to learn more:

Albany Times-Union –  A land lost to time is big find for museum

And, of course, Nature Magazine, on the newsstands now.
I met Linda while I was working on a project involving the relationship between the Hudson River School painters of the 1800s and the “gentleman geologists” of the day. I had already photographed fossils from the “box of rocks”, as it is known, in the possession of Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole National Historical Site. Along with a series of Catskill landscapes, taken in areas explored by the likes of Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, Frederic Church, etc., I needed to round out the project.
Linda opened up the NYSM fossil collection to me and allowed me to photograph numerous, rare plant fossils. These beautiful, delicate fossil images became, to me, the anchor that pulled my project together. In fact, the picture above of a plant fossil (Archaeopteris) needed a background to set it off. We used one of the Gilboa tree stumps for that purpose!
What follows are images that could only have been made with Linda’s assistance and expertise:
Congratulations once again to all involved. For fossil nerds like me it’s an exciting story.
Since I brought up the Thomas Cole “box of rocks” here are a few images from that endeavor:
One final note – Last week’s post contained a cephalopod image of mine about which a scientific question was asked. My explanation fell short. So, as I often do, I turned to my good friend, Dr. Chuck ver Straeten, for a full explanation and I want to thank him for that.
Thank you for the visit. More images at
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3 thoughts on “The Gilboa Forest

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