092018: A Devonian Sampler

For today’s post I have gathered together a selection of images of fossils found in the vicinity of my studio in Catskill, NY. Those viewers familiar with the subject will, I hope, enjoy these images, some new, some reworked.

For those new to this blog, perhaps a brief explanation of the subject matter is in order. The Devonian is a period in geological time that ran from app. 420 to 359 million years ago. In my “neighborhood” one can find fossils from the Middle Devonian (app. 387 mya). And this  mix here is all marine invertebrates, mostly coral and brachiopods. One more note – at the time these animals existed this land resided well south of the equator. Thank the enormity of the time frame and land movement due to plate tectonics for that.

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Thanks for the visit.

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091318: Nature!

A few years ago, our neighbors, Dorian and Jim, gave to me two rather large hornet nests. They had been hanging in their barn for years and thought they might be good subjects for me – a very kind gesture that I much appreciated.

Over time I photographed them enough (on the outside) and finally decided to take a look inside. These first five images were taken as I slowly broke the nests down to the honeycomb.

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Fascinating structures they are! The hexagonal pattern that defines the honeycomb is a pattern found throughout nature (See “Why Nature Prefers Hexagons.”). And it has been around for a long time.

The image above is not an old or even fossilized honeycomb. It is, rather, a favosite, more commonly known as honeycomb coral. This fossil coral is approximately 387 million years old (during the Devonian Period) and was something I dug up locally.

Brachiopod and Mollusc

“Geometry in nature” seems to be a good segue into more of nature’s designs – an image sampler of fossils, all locally founded and all as old as the honeycomb coral.

Brachiopod

Cephalopods and Brachiopods

Gastropod

Brachiopods

Tabulate Coral

I’m closing today with three mixed media drawings. I had trilobites on my mind so I created some generic versions  – each one app. 36″ x 48″.

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Thanks for the visit.

062818: Afternoon Light

Like everything else outside my studio, my deck (where I often photograph) and its railing is always covered with fossil rocks. I try to keep new finds and old favorites close and in view. Different times of day, different weather conditions, even different seasons seem to imbue each fossil with “different personalities!”

Late afternoon sun was the trigger for this week’s images. A hard, warm light catches the deck and rakes across the rocks, providing definition and a little drama.

Once again, these are all Devonian Period marine invertebrates (app. 387 million years old), all found within a few miles from my studio! As if just living here in the upper Hudson Valley isn’t enough!

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I’ve been busy in several directions lately. So I thought I’d include a couple of mixed media pieces from the week past.

Thanks for the visit.

062118: Continued

I couldn’t resist using last week’s backdrop again for this week’s images. Today’s fossils include gastropods, brachiopods, crinoid ossicles, coral, and various trilobite parts (including the one below – a Moroccan trilobite I bought in a Florence flea market). All the rest make up a nice little Devonian sampler.

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Thanks for the visit.

061418: My Kind of Exercise

I was playing around with different background ideas and thought this one might have  promise – especially when I placed randomly patterned fossils on top.

For a first, brief moment the fossils seem to fade right into that background.

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By now the background had my attention and I was curious as to what other objects might be compatible. That’s when I remembered the large box of sea shells hidden away on a back shelf. Actually, they were mostly broken pieces.

Even the pieces have nature’s graceful curves.

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By now I’ve become far more interested in the shells than I am with the background! The warmth of this background creates a very different feeling about these objects.

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It made sense to me that the course of this day’s shooting would have me finish with a few fossils sitting on background #2.

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This last one, a fossil grouping, was treated to a little photoshop playfulness. But it does have a certain charm to it.

Thanks for the visit.

053118: A Rediscovered Folder

A year ago, as we prepared a party for the opening of my new studio, I threw a few hundred image into a slide show that looped on my computer screen throughout the afternoon.

Yesterday I ran across that folder – hadn’t seen it since then. I took some time to look through it and took a liking to this seemingly unlikely mix. I guess it’s an indication of the things I found interesting at the time – all things natural, I suppose.

Some things local and some things from far away, including “natural” objects from the Natural History Museum in Florence, Italy.

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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.