103119: More From the Quarry

I must admit that I have been captured by the random beauty resulting from the mineral oxidation of shale at my local quarry.

It’s pretty easy to spot the colors amidst the blue grays and blacks of the piles of broken shale.

Generally, the red, orange, and yellow stains clearly stand out. And, like most anything else, some of the stains are pretty ordinary.

But, upon closer inspection and with some discrimination, some of the stains create visual delights!

I keep saying to myself that I’ve found enough and may have played this one out.

But then, as I review some of the recent images, I look out the window, notice that the sun is shining, and I’m out the door for yet another trip to the quarry. We are already in mid Autumn and there will be fewer opportunities before winter sets in.

And, when the colors begin to fade along with the onset of dreary gray winter days, I’ll go back to picking fossils from the other layers where they primarily reside.

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I’ll close for today with a shot from my perch in the quarry. Piles of rock everywhere, fall colors and the Eastern Escarpment of the Catskills.

Thanks for the visit.

102419: Fall Colors

I drove up on the mountaintop the other day to take in the fall colors. Ended up visiting friends and found myself more interested in their “local sights” than the leaves!

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First and foremost was the barn.

Two views of the same window – from the outside, and from the inside at the tool bench.

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A blurred treestump above and white birch with clothespins below.

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Back here outside my studio, falling leaves are hiding the many fossils that lay about. I did, though, find enough to occupy myself on a fine fall afternoon!

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Thanks for the visit.

101719: Revisit

I had such a good, productive time last week visiting my local quarry that I decided to give it another shot. All it took was a couple of hours poking through the loose rock to come up with this week’s post.

So today is something of a continuation of last week’s post – an even mix of fossils (brachiopods, mollusc, gastropods) and brilliant color (thanks to oxidization).

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I’ll close today with a simple image of the fading colors of mid Autumn.

Thanks for the visit.

101019: The Local Quarry

On Tuesday I visited my local quarry. I usually stay away during the Summer months since hornets often make their homes on the undersides of loose rock. So, with Autumn now in residence, it was time. And, thanks to recent digging by the owner, new areas of exploration have opened up.

What I found was that a transitional layer of rock became available, leaving loose rocks that exhibit an interesting mix of the different layers.

The image above is a fine example. The shaley, brittle rocks of the lower level, often laced with colorful staining, seldom have much in the way of fossils.The surrounding rocks are from the upper layer, where the fossil “motherlode” usually resides.

The opening image, with a well delineated brachiopod sitting next to a yellow streak of chemical oxidization, exemplifies that mixing.

So, I was struck by colors and fossils, sometimes separately and sometimes together. I even found a couple of images (at the end of today’s grouping) that display the unintended handiwork of nature!

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Thanks for the visit.

100319: All Local (Almost)

Late afternoon light landed on a shelf full of rocks and fossils here in my studio the other day. Today’s opening image is the result – a brachiopod, a mollusk, and a trilobite. That trilobite is the only fossil in my possession that I did not find myself, or rather, one that I did not dig up myself. It is from Morocco via the Sant’ Ambrogio Market in Florence (where I purchased it for a few euro.)

So, with camera now in hand, I grabbed a few more local fossils and, with an appreciation for their unique shapes, tried to breathe some new life into these ancient relics.

Sometimes even broken pieces can be intriguing on their own.

And it continued from there. Following up on last week’s post, all the remaining images are brachiopods (whole or parts) showing again a few of the many different types (15,000) that existed over a period of a few hundred million years!

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Brachiopods seem to be the most abundant local fossil here in this patch of the upper Hudson River Valley. No wonder then that they continue to find their way into my recent drawings and paintings!

Thanks for the visit.