071416: Two Communities

IMG_1926_01_LR_12

As promised, here are the remaining images from my show set to open on Sunday in Isle La Motte (on the shores of Lake Champlain). It’s always a favorite destination for Cindy and me, not only due to the natural beauty of the surroundings but also to the wonderful community that calls Isle La Motte home.DSC00157_01_LR_12

These days there is so much chatter about the fear and insecurity plaguing the country at large. One would think, if one follows news reports, that the land is in chaos, that decency is in short supply, and that daily life is under assault.

IMG_6409_01a_LR_12

It is true that there are many problems that currently befall us. Whatever injustice is suffered by any citizen, it is done as well to you and me. And there is much to rear up against and make our voices heard, hopefully at the ballot box in November.

IMG_1674_01a_LR_12

So, at a time when the negativity seems overwhelming, I’d like to tell you about two communities who reflect so much of what is good.

img_0955_01_lr_12

In the case of Isle La Motte, it was a group of local citizens who fought a battle, lasting years, to save a part of their island. The Chazy Reef Formation is the oldest known fossil coral reef system on the planet – a place of worldwide scientific significance and local pride.

img_1470_01_lr_12

When the reef was threatened by plans to reopen a long abandoned quarry, the local residents banded together to prevent it from happening.

DSC00191_01_LR_12

They succeeded but then took it further. Thanks to their efforts, the Isle La Motte Land Preservation Trust was established. Under the leadership of resident Linda Fitch, money was raised to purchase the two primary parcels of land that are now deemed National Natural Landmarks.

img_1479_01_lr_12

Fund raising is an ever ongoing effort. The new barn and education center, general upkeep, etc. all fall on the shoulders of the local volunteers.

IMG_6736_01_LR_12

The folks on Isle La Motte are proud of their natural wonders and cultural heritage and celebrate it together.

IMG_7368_01_LR_12

________________

DSC00744_01_LR_12

Community and cultural heritage are the key factors in the joy and celebration I witnessed last Sunday in Gilboa, NY. Gilboa is home to the oldest known tree fossils in the world. In fact, in the past few years, scientists plotted out some of this earliest known forest floor.

DSC00816_01_LR_12

In another example of local residents keeping alive local culture and history, an open house was held to celebrate the opening of the History Center at the Gilboa Museum. A beautiful addition was built thanks to the donations made by Mr. Nicholas J. Juried ( seen above with Ms Kristen Wycoff, chairwoman). Son of immigrants, Mr. Juried grew up in Gilboa and returned to fund the museum’s addition in honor of his parents.

 

DSC00755_01_LR_12

A large crowd turned out for the event. My friends Bob and Johanna Titus were present as well (above). Bob took a crowd out for a fossill walk along Schoharie Creek following the formal presentations.

titus book

Their new book, the 25th anniversary edition was also on display on Sunday. It gave additional meaning to this gathering  – The cover painting of the Gilboa Forest (as assumed by the scientists) was done by the aforementioned Kristen Wycoff!

DSC00737_01_LR_12

I’ll end with this image – a 5′-6′ length of tree bark from the Eospermotopteris tree, the one seen in Kristen’s painting. It was donated to the museum just last week by a Gilboa neighbor, just in time for the celebration..

Thanks for the visit.

Advertisements

060916: Testing Equipment

DSC00191_01_LR_12

That’s a partial crinoid ossicle sitting on a lichen covered rock that starts off this week’s selection of images. All the images today are the result of testing some new equipment. It used to be that all you needed to know was aperture and shutter speed on a mechanical device. Everything today calls for maneuvering digital menus – all of which vary from system to system. It’s not rocket science. It just takes a bit more time to become familiar. And so I immediately began shooting all that was handy.

DSC00198_01_LR_12

One of the first subjects I approached was my newest collection – gnarled old trunks and knotty boughs that I drag out of the woods.

DSC00157_01_LR_12

Seems the more I wander through nature the more I find objects that both fascinate and intrigue me.

DSC00245_01_LR_12

Of course, the piles of fossil laden rocks that surround my studio provided me with endless opportunities to test out my new camera as well as a new lens for one of my other cameras.

DSC00246_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00217_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00168_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00009_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00253_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00193_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00051_01_LR_12

Even without fossils, some rocks prove to be worthy subjects on their own.

DSC00014_01_LR_12

*****

DSC_0152_01_LR_12

I even had a good bit of luck as a luna moth made its annual appearance amid my testing. I think I’m getting a handle on this new equipment!

Thanks for the visit.

052616: The Geology of the Devonian

04. Brachiopod with traces of borings_a

Today’s fossil images will appear in a show that I am excited to announce. I was honored to be asked by Dr. Robert Titus (aka The Catskills Geologist) to join him and his wife, Johanna Titus, in an exhibition at the Erpf Gallery at the Catskill Center in Arkville, NY.

05. Spiriferid brachiopod 2_a

From the press release:

The Geology of the Devonian: In the Heart of the Catskills will be on display at the Erpf Gallery June 4th through July 30, 2016. This exhibit will merge the scientific geological writings of Robert and Johanna Titus with the exquisite fossil photographs of Art Murphy. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 4, from 3-5 PM, at the Erpf Center in Arkville.”

01. Devonian Mix_a

“Come journey into the heart of the Catskills through an engaging merger of science and art. Discover the history of the Devonian period, some 400 million years ago, when tropical seas and primitive forests left the wonderful fossils we find today. Learn through the narrative of science, the beautiful photos, and fossil displays of this diverse exhibit why New York is known worldwide for its fine exposures of the Devonian strata.”

08. Brachiopod slab 1

“Robert and Johanna Titus, along with Art Murphy will be speaking about the exhibit at 3 pm on Saturday, June 4. After the talk please join us for a reception as we celebrate 25 years of the “Kaatskill Geologist” in Kaatskill Life Magazine.”

09. Brachiopod slab 2

“Dr. Robert Titus is a professor of Geology at Hartwick College in Oneonta NY, and his wife Johanna Titus is an instructor at SUNY Dutchess. They are columnists, writing popular geoscience columns for Kaatskill Life Magazine, the Woodstock Times, the Hudson Register Star, the Catskill Daily Mail, the Chatham Courier, and the Windham Journal. They are frequently invited to speak for Catskills and Hudson Valley civic groups. They are the authors of Hudson Valley in the Ice Age, a geological history and tour.”

03. Atrypa Brachiopod_a

“The Geology of the Devonian: In the Heart of the Catskills is on display June 4th through July 30, 2016. The opening reception will be held June 4, 2016 from 3-5 pm. For more information, contact the Catskill Center at 845-586-2611.”

10. Crinoid Columnals

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the fascinating “deep time” history of our region – a history that is seated in a time nearly four hundred million years ago when an inland sea covered much of this area.

07. Colonial Coral_a

I have had the good fortune of hearing Dr. Titus speak on the subject and have read his books. He has a way of taking sometimes difficult scientific subject matter and making it understandable and accessible to the layman.

06. Spiriferid brachiopod 3_a

So, let June 4th be a fine day to plan a drive out to Arkville, take in the beautiful scenery of New York State in Springtime, and learn more about this wonderful place we call home! I hope to see you there.

02. Spiriferid brachiopod 1_a

_______________

_______________

IMG_1876_01a_LR_12

And speaking of shows – I’ve been preparing for a show in mid July with my friends up at the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust on Lake Champlain (the Vermont side).

img_6409_01_lr_12

No fossils this time. But rather some of my observations from the world of nature.

IMG_1908_01b_LR_12

These images of gnarled, weathered wood seem to represent my latest obsession!

img_6434_01_lr_12

Between the wood, the lichen, and, of course, the fossils, I’m thinking I might need sherpas to help me with all that I carry out of the local forest (or perhaps another arm or two)!

IMG_1926_01_LR_12

Thanks as always for the visit.

PS – Hey Linda Fitch I hope you like what you see!