072017: In The Beginning

Today’s opener is one of my very first fossil images, shot way before I ever considered any possibilities of obsession! I had just finished my previous project, the black and white urban landscapes that appeared here a few weeks ago. That one was shot with a 4×5 view camera. So I thought it only made sense that the fossils would be dealt with similarly.

Was I ever wrong! It was such a painstakingly slow, deliberate, and cumbersome process. Had I continued that way, I can assure you, my fossil obsession would never had occurred.

And that would have been a shame. These fascinating, ancient objects have become vehicles for many wonderful experiences. It’s been more that ten years since I took that first picture.

During that time, the images have been shown in galleries and museums here and abroad. Cindy and I have met some of the nicest and most interesting people imaginable. And our opportunities to learn and grow have been deeply enhanced.

All thanks to these remnants of life from hundreds of millions of years ago!

The rest of today’s images are some of my earliest work, all shot digitally and reworked this past week.

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Thanks for the visit.

062917: Back to Fossils

A surprise, last minute trip to Cape Cod pulled me away from the blog last week. Between that and my last two bw posts of NYC I found myself missing my fossils! So I decided to return today with a full body of fossil images. They seem to be gaining more drama lately.

For those of you unfamiliar with these 387 million year old former denizens of my neighborhood I’ll attempt to provide identification (as best I can). Above are several types of coral accompanied by an impression of a trilobite pygidium (center left).

Not exactly sure what this is. The pattern suggests to me some form of coral.

Coral.

Cephalopods. I count at least four in this cluster.

One lone cephalopod.

An interesting mix – resting atop a brachiopod is part of the head (cephalon) and eye of a trilobite. That long dark cylinder I believe might be a small crinoid stem.

I can only think this is a slice of a brachiopod.

Sitting atop a bed of coral is a small rock loaded with crinoid ossicles (the round things). They essentially stacked to form the stem of the crinoid.

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Another brachiopod with some coral in the upper left.

Yet another brachiopod! Actually, there were some 12,000 or more various types.

And these (yes, brachiopods also) are different – they are the only fossils in this post not from the Catskill area. I dug them up several years ago while on a trip to Nashville.

A mess of fossils sitting out on an old table.

And, last but certainly not least, are a group of tentaculites, something I seldom find around here. I came across these along Kaaterskill Creek. I particularly love this one as it reminds me of an old retro sci-fi rocket ship! Fossils and rocket ships put a smile on my face!!

Thanks for the visit.

050417: The New Neighborhood

Having finally settled in at the new studio I had time the other day to take a stroll through the surrounding woods. Plenty to explore this time of year, especially on the forest floor. Many shades of green, muted to vibrant. The walk ended (as most things usually do for me) with a look at some of my transplanted fossils..

For all my friends in the area – We will be celebrating the completion of the studio with an Open House on Saturday, May 20, from 1 pm until 5 pm.The address is 15 Mountain Wood Road in Catskill and all are welcome. So, if you are in the vicinity please join us.

In the meantime please enjoy today’s images:

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Enjoy these beautiful Spring days! And thanks for the visit.

042717: Settled In

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Some ten or twelve sets of wind chimes lay in a pile. Hanging them is one of my last tasks related to my move into the new studio. And today I’m happy to be back, working away in a wonderful new space. Everything has found its proper place, including the many, many fossils and rocks that I couldn’t bear to leave behind.

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It’s been refreshing to re-view the fossils I have accumulated over time. And, in their new location, I thought they deserved some attention.

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Cephalopod, Brachiopods

Trace Fossil, Crinoids, Lichen

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Gilboa Tree Stump (base)

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Generally speaking, our home (and studio), while only six miles away from my previous studio, sit in a fossil bare area. Yet these two rocks (that sit on an 18’x24″ surface) were found by Cindy and me in the woods out back. Full of fossils, I believe they are known as “erratics,” delivered from further north by the last receding glacier.

And below are images of fossils found on or in this pair.

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Hopefully, I’m back on schedule now.

Thanks for the visit.

030917: Science in America 2017

The know-nothings have won… for now. The soon to be neutered (or dissolved) EPA now no longer refers to “science” on its website. Rather than refer to “science based” standards they now refer to “economically and technologically achievable standards” for their actions. (The new head of EPA, Scott Pruitt, darling of frackers, just today stated that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming!)

The know-nothings have also set their sights on NASA, an agency that has “played a leading role in researching climate change and educating the public about it.” The plan is to cut funding for “Earth Science” and anything related to “global warming.”

An then there’s Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State and former head of Exxon, and friend of Vladimir Putin. If they are able to get sanctions lifted on Russia the Exxon-Rosfeft joint venture will proceed – a 500 billion dollar deal for oil exploration in the Arctic.

 

The list goes on and on. Whether it is the National Park Service or NOAA or many other government agencies, it is clear that the Trump Administration is at war with science and knowledge. Call your members of Congress and let them know your concerns. They need your vote to keep their jobs. Let them know that.

Today’s images are some random fossil images I couldn’t resist taking as I transported my collection to my new soon-to-be-completed studio. The transition is moving slowly but steadily and I look forward to returning to my work without interruption.

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I finish today with a couple of images unrelated to the fossils – one an odd outdoor vignette from a neighbor’s property and the other from my endless supply of props (soon to be packed).

Thanks for the visit.

020217: A Moment of Calm

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News of the day, just about every day, seems to be so unsettling. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to find an offset.

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I think I found one, thanks to a trip through my photo libraries.

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The images I present today are part of a series I worked on and exhibited 5 – 6 years ago.

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Entitled the “Devonian Drawer” series, it was a quiet, almost meditative series of images in which my locally found fossils were partnered with various other objects and framed in an old metal drawer.

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The relationship of objects within each frame gives much room to interpretation.

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And perhaps that room for interpretation gives way to an inner quiet.

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Nothing grandiose here – just a quiet moment, a pause to catch my breath in the midst of frenzy.

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I hope you enjoy the selection.

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Thanks for the visit.

011917: The Fog

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Several days of fog allowed for these opening images. There is a deepening and long lasting fog setting in that will require a sharpening of the senses. It starts tomorrow. All I can say is “Eyes wide open.” Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors.

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I continue to move my seemingly endless piles of fossil rocks to the location of my new studio. And, in doing so, the only thing that slows me down is rediscovering so many worthy subjects for exploration.

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I set these pieces aside to provide some fresh fossil images for this week’s post.

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My thanks to the folks at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill for putting on a wonderful show last Saturday. It looked great and was well attended. For those who were unable to attend I include here the remaining three pieces that I contributed.

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Thanks for the visit.

120116: Recent Pics

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Several days of much needed rain has kept me inside, leaving shooting plans on hold. I’m never at a loss, though, thanks to a library full of overlooked images.

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In reviewing image folders from the past few months, I came up with this selection – a mixed bag of objects ranging from plant life (above) to three more fossil images (at the end) from Isle La Motte.

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In between are a few local rocks and fossils and this unique artifact (above) – a “smudge pot” holder from a Tuscan vineyard where we dug for fossils on a previous visit. Yeah, most people return from such a trip with objects of beauty. Me – I come back with interesting junk!

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These are the three new images from September’s visit to Isle La Motte.

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I close today with a creekside view of a wonderland created by my good friend, Harry Matthews, the Renaissance Man of High Falls Road!

Thanks for the visit.

102716: More Autumn Color

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While I’ve been out trying to capture the last of autumn color I have also run across more lichen. It is everywhere in the forest and therefore an ever present source of images for me.

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Aside from its beauty and variety, I have become intrigued, but confused, as to what exactly it is. Part fungus. Part algae. It’s been a tricky thing for me to grasp. And it turns out that I’m not the only one.

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A recent article in The Atlantic magazine tells an interesting and entertaining story of a scientist, Toby Spribille, who, after years of study, has cast a new light on just exactly what lichen is. It appears now that there are more than two players in this symbiotic relationship.

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Give it a read if you are so interested. If not, I hope you enjoy the samples of lichen, along with the moss, fallen leaves, and fading colors of autumn, that I have for you today.

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Let me close with this final image – three cephalopods peeking out from under a blanket of leaves. I uncovered these fossils a few years ago and always enjoy the occasional visit.

And here is a last minute postscript – This is what we awoke to this morning here in Catskill:

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So much for Autumn color!

100616: Chazy Reef 2016

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Just got back from Isle La Motte, Vermont after retrieving my recent show. It’s always a pleasure visiting with all the fine folks at the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust. It’s also a pleasure to take some time sitting on the shore of Lake Champlain, relaxing amid the surrounding beauty

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The water was exceptionally low, something we’ve heard throughout the Northeast for months now. The receding shoreline has exposed usually submerged rocks, giving us a reason to walk the shore and explore.

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Aside from the odd apple tree (an escapee from one of the numerous orchards on the island), we found way too many fossils to even count. What a bonanza!

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Gastropods, cephalopods, and stromatoporoids.

For those unfamiliar, gastropods are the spirally ones, cephalopods are the straight ones, and stromatoporoids are the wavy ones.

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They are all marine invertebrate fossils from the Ordovician Period, roughly 480 million years ago.

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This southern part of the island, a world renowned geological treasure known as the Chazy Fossil Reef, is the world’s oldest ecologically diverse fossil reef.

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Information on the science and history of the Reef can be found at the ILMPT website. The story of the environmental battles that led to the preservation of the reef sites, “The Quarriers: A Conservation Tale,” written by Linda Fitch, can be found here.

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An important part of ILMPT’s mission is public education. Student groups from all over the region make visits to the Goodsell Ridge Preserve, where many fossil outcrops exist. The newly renovated barn, now the Nature Center is a focal point for students, educators, scientists, tourists, and the local population.

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I’ll finish for today with these two images, a sponge above and a gastropod below, new additions to the collection in the Nature Center. Plan a visit if you are in the area.

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Thanks for the visit.