101217: Revisiting Trilobites

Since I began working on a series of trilobite inspired drawings I decided to revisit my photo library to put this grouping together. I don’t find them around here too often. And when I do they are seldom more that parts – sometimes the eyes, but mostly the hind end or pygidium. These first four images come from other, well established collections.

The first three are from the collection of the Paleontological Research Institute / Museum of the Earth. They are located in Trumansburg NY, just outside Ithaca.

And the fourth one (below) is from Chazy Reef on Isle La Motte in Vermont.

The remainder of images are taken from the surrounding area here in Catskill, all of which I have found while digging.

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These last two trilobite images have a slightly different story. I came across this box full of Moroccan trilobites at the wonderful outdoor market in Florence, Sant Ambrogio, a few years ago. It was the only time I ever purchased a fossil.

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I’ll leave you today with a seasonal note – Autumn is definitely upon us.

Thanks for the visit.

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092117: Back to Work

Round Top, NY 2012

Septembers have usually been busy and exciting times for me. Shows, travel, and new projects have generally been the focus of my posts ever since I began this blog in 2011. As my regular viewers know, if its Thursday there’s a new story waiting. Unfortunately, other matters have intruded and, as a result, the past month or so has had me focused elsewhere.

Mushrooms 2011

Due to a misdiagnosis well over a year ago, my partner, Cindy, has been hit with Lyme disease with a vengeance. It’s been harrowing and disturbing. Fortunately, she is ever so slowly on the mend. And as she progresses I will be able to get back on schedule.

Coral on Canvas 2012

As a way to break back into some creative work, I’ve picked out images for today that were taken in previous Septembers – but never worked until now. So, in a way, these are fresh new pieces. Definitely an odd mix, and quite varied.

Tea Set, New Jersey 2012

And, yes, the sofa and chairs were covered in plastic too.

Parking Garage, Spoleto 2013

On this day four years ago my solo show opened at the Florence Museum of Natural History. It was a wonderful occasion and allowed us to travel the countryside in the days that followed.

San Gimignano 2013

In the shadows of this wonderful hill town, as the sun set, we finished a day of Tuscan fossil hunting. Some of what we found appear below.

Gastropods, Tuscany 2013

Sea Shell, Maine 2014

Maine 2014

Our view to the East. We fell in love with Maine on this trip and now return annually – not only for the local beauty but also to shoot the coastal rocks such as the image below.

Coastal Rock, Maine 2014

Bearded Rocks, Lake Champlain, Vermont 2015

Isle La Motte, home of the famous Chazy Reef geological site, is another favorite. An important annual event celebrated there is Teddy Roosevelt Day in honor of his visit in 1901. In fact, the annual celebration is being held this Saturday the 23rd with a full day of activities. If you are anywhere in the vicinity make plans to visit. As they say it’s fun for all ages!

For information and directions for this year’s event clock here – Teddy Rooesvelt Day.

Donald, Isle La Motte 2015

Our dear friend Donald posed following the historical recreation.

Gastropod, Isle La Motte 2015

Coral, Catskill, NY 2016

Sunset Over the Catskills 2011

A slightly different journey today. I hope you liked it. I’ll try to be back soon.

Thanks for the visit.

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.

072116: Returning Home

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Back from my trip to Vermont – the show looks good and will be up for a while. My studio, on the other hand, was a bit of a mess – something that always happens when preparing for a show.

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During the course of the cleanup I ran across a small pile of flat rocks I pulled from the creek a long time ago. These rocks were pancake-like slivers that sat on a low shelf like a stack of magazines.

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I kept them originally to use eventually as backdrops or as a ground upon which I could set other objects to shoot. But the more I examined them the more I saw them as worthy subjects on their own.

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So here is a small suite of images that resulted from my discovery. Perhaps I should do a bit more cleaning – never know what I might find!

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It was a pleasure to return to Isle La Motte this past weekend for the opening of my show. The opening went well. We got to see many friendly, familiar faces and spend relaxing time sitting on the shores of Lake Champlain.

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I took only a small number of pictures this trip. These first few are regular subjects for me. I’m always amazed when I see these trees that wrap around the the rock outcrops.

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Sunday Tea before the crowds arrived.

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I have to throw this image into today’s mix. On the way to Isle La Motte we sought out this wonderful little shack. Prompted by a PBS show about the country’s best pies (what can I say – it was a very late night when I found the show). Poorhouse Pies in Underhill, Vermont, was spotlighted. Self serve, 24 hours a day, in a small town on the road to nowhere in particular – on the honor system! What a wonderful thought and idea in a world so twisted and jaded. And the pie was great!!

Thanks for your visit today.

070716: Getting Ready for Vermont

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I’m looking forward to my upcoming show at the Fisk Farm on Isle La Motte in Vermont. The opening is set for Sunday, July 17. In the past I have exhibited work up there that related to the island, specifically the fossils of Chazy Reef.

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This time I have chosen a selection of images that relate to the broader natural world and the patterns and designs that reside within. That includes many of the subjects that I have shown in this blog in the recent past.

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They cover the various images of wood, lichen,fossils, and rock affected by natural processes that have occupied much of my creative time recently.

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Many of these images will be familiar to regular viewers. The show will consist of twenty images, ten of which I share with you today. The remaining ten will appear in next week’s post.

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So, for those unable to be there, please enjoy this selection. And for those who will attend, please enjoy the presentation. They are all beautifully printed and framed in sizes 24″x30″ and 16″x20″, in limited editions of ten, and all available for sale.

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These remaining five images come from my “rock garden.”

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Thanks for the visit.

1001: TR at ILM

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That’s Teddy Roosevelt Day on Isle La Motte. Every September, the inhabitants of this little island on Lake Champlain celebrate our 26th U.S. President, lifelong naturalist and champion conservationist. As the story goes, TR, while serving as Vice President, visited the island in September of 1901. While there, a phone call came for him (on the island’s only telephone at the time) informing him that President McKinley had been shot.

An important event in local history certainly, but it’s the “conservationist” issue that resonates with the island’s residents. Their tireless efforts to save and preserve Chazy Reef for all of us continues today as it has for the past twenty years. The island’s bedrock is formed by the oldest known fossil coral reef in the world – nearly a half billion years old! And scientists from the world over visit the site to peer into the planet’s deep past.

This year’s events, ranging from apple picking, cider pressing, demonstrations at the Historical Society, hayrides, etc. all culminated in a parade, led by TR himself, that ended at the newly refurbished Goodsell Barn, The barn, pictured below, was formally introduced to the public as part of the day’s festivities, and will serve as a nature center and education space.

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I was honored to be asked to display a show of my Chazy Reef fossil images at this opening. And, I am happy to say that this work will reside there permanently and serve as a backdrop for future events educational and otherwise.

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TR showed up and praised the local conservation efforts. He best described the importance of the day, stressing the importance of our collective role as caretakers of the planet.

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And it was a message well received and appreciated by all those present.

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It was a great turnout. Seems like the whole island showed up. It was a wonderful experience – small town America at its finest. Neighbors working together for a common (and very important) good. They should be proud of their efforts. Their desire and ability to preserve and maintain Chazy Reef deserves our great thanks.

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The day ended, as all good small town events do, with a potluck dinner back at the Fisk Farm compound, where the indefatigable Beth and Larry Welton (otherwise known as Tin Penny) provided additional entertainment. It was a very special day.

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In my free moments, while wandering through the neighboring Fisk Quarry, I came across more and more gastropod fossils Here are a few of the new ones.

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More information about Chazy Reef and its importance may be found at the ILMPT website

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Aside from the trip to Isle La Motte I’ve been on the road a lot lately. But I did find a little time to crack some rocks back at the studio. This one rather small rock had an interesting yield. Here are three images from that rock.

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And, one last note that I couldn’t resist including. From a recent stay on Paradox Lake in the Adirondacks – views from the porch on Sunday night and hours later the following morning.

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Thanks for the visit,

0917: Chazy Reef This Saturday

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This trio of gastropods was found at the site of a barn on the Goodsell Ridge Preserve on Isle La Motte, Vermont. The Preserve, an 81 acre nature and geologic preserve, is home to Chazy Reef, a remarkable and unique 480 million year old fossil reef formation. And on Saturday (Sept. 19) the aforementioned barn, now newly renovated, will open as part of the island’s annual Teddy Roosevelt Day festivities.

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The barn will be a multipurpose space for the Preserve, a site used for everything from nature center to exhibition and event space. And I have been asked to provide the opening art exhibit. This first set of images, as well as others I had posted two weeks ago, will be part of the show – all images of the various fossils I encountered during my visits to Chazy Reef.

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As for Teddy Roosevelt, this yearly event pays tribute to this most famous conservationist, who had visited this island in September of 1901. Various events will be taking place across the island. The final event of the day will be a reception at the Goodsell Ridge Barn at 4:00 pm. The exhibit will be open all day beginning at 11:00 am.

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There are plans currently to keep the show up permanently or, at least, indefinitely. Hopefully, the prints will encourage visitors to take more time to explore the reef and recognize and appreciate its importance.

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One more note about ILM – On my last visit I walked all the way to the far side of Fisk Quarry (the other part of the Land Trust) and found this. It is one of two very large stromatoporoids in the quarry. Known as “reef-formers” these invertebrates are classified as sponges.

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These are a few close-ups of the stromatoporoid that measures roughly 5’x5′.

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I’ll try to have more images next week of the island and all the festivities.

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Last week I brought you images from the rocks along the Kaaterskill Creek. This week I have a few more to share. In the interim, one long night of a 5″ rainfall has filled the creek once again. So it may be a while before some of these fossils reappear.

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These next two images tell an interesting story. As I mentioned last week, fossils down here appear as the cherty rock surfaces ever so slowly dissolve (thanks to enviromental effects, i.e. the flow of the creek).

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The image above was taken in September of 2007. I found it again last week. Take a look at the image below to see the changes that have occurred during the last eight years! Amazing to me, given that this coral has been around for hundreds of millions of years!

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And, finally, these little things again! I still have no idea what they are but I do find then strange and interesting. They remind me of aboriginal art!

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Thanks for the visit.