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.

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090519: Low Tide, Maine

This is what it must have looked like 400 or 500 million years ago, I think – maybe around the time when some little creatures began to check out the other side of the shoreline and moved onto land. The geology of the area hits at about that same time. Even seaweed goes back that far and perhaps longer.

No surprise then that the experience of being there should resonate with me. After all, most of the fossils I have dug up and photographed over the years are from roughly that same deep time period (give or take a hundred million yers or so!).

My camera has pretty much been sitting on the shelf since my last post 9 or 10 months ago. No surprise again that Maine would shake something loose for me. The coastal rocks are a joy to behold, far more colorful than one might suspect. Even though I walk this same stretch of shoreline every year I am always happily rewarded with new discoveries.

It’s for these reasons (and many others) that Cindy and I always look forward to our annual visit. And arriving home last week has us already talking about the next one!

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It might just be seaweed, but even seaweed has its own beauty.

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I brought a few of my favorite “home grown” fossils with me. I figured the fossils and rocks might be “chronological” cousins and might provide me a fresh approach to two long favorite subjects.

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My time away from the blog has not been idle. All of my studio time has been spent painting. The two had become too difficult for me to work simultaneously and required more singular devotion. During that time, as  my excess acrylic paints would dry in their respective bowls, I would find ways to peel that dried paint out and toss the leftovers into a pile. Random colors and fragments seemed to meld together to create something new.

So I brought some of them with me to Maine also, wondering how my own colors might blend with the rocks. Two examples here are part of a larger project , more of which might show up here again in the future.

And here are two of my latest paintings in progress. Both are roughly 5′- 5.5′

I hope this new post will beget more. If that happens I imagine that the visual focus might widen as my initial fascination with fossils has led me to so many other aspects of nature –  from deepest time to the present. If any of this is not “your cup of tea” please let me know and I will remove you from my mailing list. For the rest of you, thank you for your time. I hope to post again soon.

I’ll leave you with an image of an arriving storm a few weeks ago in Maine.                  (Even storms are gorgeous up there!)

Thanks for the visit.

101118: Maine Rocks Again!

I didn’t expect to get this week’s selection out on my usual schedule. More on that later. I got caught up in my library of images from my last trip to Maine. Seems there were more images to explore and those were what caught my eye. So, once again, here is yet another new group of images of Maine’s coastal rocks.

Obviously, it is a subject that draws me to it. And that’s what makes our annual visits something to always look forward to.

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For more than seven years I have been posting this blog weekly. Most times it has been a joy. Sometimes it has been more of a challenge. Lately my attention is being pulled in too many directions, making it increasingly difficult to maintain my established schedule. So, just to let you know, I will continue to post but not as frequently.

Thank you for your continued interest. So, for today, I’ll leave you with one last image from Maine – a late afternoon shot on the last late afternoon of our visit!

090618: More from Maine

Today’s post delves once more into our recent trip to Maine. The first half are images of the broken shells I brought back to the studio (along with a rock from Jasper Beach). The shells came from a small, narrow strip of coastline that also provided me with the second half – more images of the coastal rock walls.

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Thanks for the visit.

And thank you to our wonderful hosts, Eric and Betty. We look forward to seeing you again next summer

082318: Back from Maine

Just back from a week on the Maine coast. This year the trip was primarily recuperative, less exploring and more staring at the ocean. That said, I couldn’t totally ignore the rocks along the shore (some of my favorite anywhere). Here are a handful of images from my first edit.

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This trip I found myself paying attention to the seaweed, something I had always looked past or sought to keep out of the frame.

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On the drive home we decided to stop for the night in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. An after dinner walk led me to a nearby bridge – an old truss bridge long closed. And I couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap off a few frames.

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More from Maine to come. Thanks for the visit.

052418: A Visit to the Quarry

I had an opportunity a few days ago to drop by my favorite local quarry. In earlier days I would dig there weekly. But lately my visits are few and far between. On these recent  returns I often feel like I’m visiting a fresh, new site.

The owner cuts into the side of the hill, taking ground fill and crushed rock away for his construction sites. Seldom are there any fossils in that part of the quarry. Instead, though, there are fine shooting opportunities as these first five images indicate. (By the way, the hill off in the distance is part of the eastern escarpment of the Catskills).

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Eventually, I made my way to the shelf that contains the fossils. There are always plenty to find. So today’s post is the result of that one trip – a nice selection of mostly ordinary 387 million year old marine invertebrate fossils, all dirty and broken but fascinating nonetheless.

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One surprise for me this trip were these gastropods I found – not particularly special but not often found at this site.

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Thanks for the visit.

040518: Maine on My Mind

Generally, when many people think of Maine they often conjure up images of lobsters (and lobster boats), or perhaps moose if they go inland. I, on the other hand, remain mesmerized by its coastal rocks. The ability of nature and natural forces to create such beauty continues to amaze and astound me!

Last summer Cindy and I had to cancel our annual trip to Maine at the last minute. As disappointing as that was, it now gives us all the more reason to already be counting the days until our trip this summer.

Until then, I satisfy myself with trips through my photo libraries, reviewing past shooting experiences “Down East.” So, for today’s post, I managed to pull together a group of images that had been previously passed over. I think they work pretty well. I hope you do too.

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Thanks for the visit.