I’ll start and finish this post with images from my ongoing Devonian Drawer series. These two as well as today’s other images all stem from my exploration of the hill behind my cabin studio. It’s where I was introduced to fossils five years ago.
The hill runs a quarter mile in a north/south direction and probably stands between 200 and 250 feet tall. I sometimes wonder if it is not so much a hill as it is a big pile of rocks! The next image shows the angle of the hill as well as the scattered rocks in the foreground.
What I first discovered that amazed me so was that every other rock I would pick up seemed to have fossils in it. Most of the rocks are small. The fossils, for the most past are weathered (aside, of course, from the occasional one I would break out of its dense matrix). My enthusiasm over such “fossil wealth” was such that each new find would move me up the hill, little by little, until I would find myself in a most untenable position. Climbing up the hill, feeling like Spiderman, was the easy part. Climbing down, arms loaded with rocks, always proved to be a challenge – one that became more and more difficult (at times rather harrowing as well). And with my desire to always check out the next rock to catch my eye, the inevitable climb proved too hard to resist – and too hard on my back, legs, and general equilibrium.
All of that led to my abandoning the hill in favor of more level sites, with generally more articulated fossils. Between that and my opportunities to photograph from museum collections, I kept away from that original site of my earliest discoveries, until recently, that is.
I’ll write more about it next week – about “The Emperor” – the oldest and most stately tree back there. It fell – a delayed effect from Hurricane Irene. For now I’ll just point to the opening image. Two brachiopods from the hill accompanied by a small root retrieved from the base of the tree. And I’ll also point to the final image. A mix of small fossils from the hill juxtaposed against an old glass bowl discovered at the tree’s base. (The ground back there heaves up more than just fossils.) And in between those are images of fossils found on my most recent climb.
Commonplace they might be – but awash in character! I hope you enjoy them until next week when I revisit “The Emperor” and the surrounding local history. Spring is looking great here in the Northeast. Try to go for a hike. It’s great for the body, mind, and soul!
Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com
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