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!

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.

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

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.

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.