060216: Coral

MurphyArt01

Ever since I first began photographing fossils I always particularly enjoyed finding coral fossils. Locally, they are generally 385 million years old (give or take a few million).

IMG_6404_01f

The Chazy Reef on Isle La Motte, where I’ll be showing next month, is the oldest known fossil reef in the world at 480 to 500 million years old. They have been around for quite a while.

IMG_3144_01a

Today I’ve put together a variety of various coral fossil images, some of my earliest, and all of fossils found locally.

MurphyArt04

Coral has been on my mind ever since I read yesterday’s newsfeed and found this:

MORE THAN A THIRD OF THE CORAL IS DEAD IN PARTS OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF.

IMG_4391_01a

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet. And 93% of it has been affected by a “massive bleaching “ event. Follow the links for more on the subject.

IMG_9762_01a

Put briefly, the rise in ocean temperatures causes the bleaching. As the water continues to warm over time the coral grows ever more fragile and dies off on a massive scale.

IMG_2702_01a

By the way, for month after month now, each new month sets the record for all time highest global temperature.

IMG_9747_01a

Coral reefs are huge biodiverse ecosystems. They are being affected by ocean acidification brought on by increased carbon dioxide emissions.

IMG_6091_01c

The carnival barker/con man Donald Trump thinks that more coal is the answer to our problems. Oil pipelines too.

IMG_3153_01a

*****

IMG_3065_01a

*****

IMG_7240_01a

*****

IMG_3679_01b

*****

IMG_7471_01a

*****

A reminder to any and all:

The Geology of the Devonian

Opening Reception June 4, 3-5 pm

Erpf Gallery, Rt. 28, Arkville NY

IMG_7451_01a

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!

1001: TR at ILM

IMG_3886_01_LR_12

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.

IMG_3893_LR_12

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.

IMG_3754_LR_12

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.

IMG_3824_LR_12

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

IMG_4944_LR_12

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.

IMG_4958_LR_12

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.

IMG_3656_01_LR_12

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.

IMG_3677_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3679_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3680_01_LR_12

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

_______________

IMG_3918_01_LR_12

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.

IMG_3922_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3926_01_LR_12

_______________

IMG_5039_LR_12

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.

IMG_5080_01_LR_12

Thanks for the visit,

0917: Chazy Reef This Saturday

IMG_1768_01_LR_12

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.

IMG_2340_01_LR_12

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.

IMG_2355_01b_LR_12

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.

IMG_2408_01b_LR_12

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.

IMG_2332_02_ILM_LR_12

*****

IMG_3489_01_LR_12

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.

IMG_3523_01_LR_12

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

IMG_3513_01_LR_12

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

IMG_3528_01_LR_12

_______________

IMG_3128_01_LR_12

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.

IMG_3140_01_LR_12

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).

IMG_7471_01a_LR_12

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!

IMG_3123_LR_12

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!

nitmiluk_visitor_centre_kat_sur_u_975409_540x304

IMG_3209_01_LR_12 IMG_3198_01_LR_12

Thanks for the visit.

0910: Along the Kaaterskill

IMG_3388_01_LR_12

I’ve been busy printing a show that I just delivered to my friends on Isle La Motte on Lake Champlain – all in relation to an event on September 19th. I’ll have more on that next week. But before leaving I had time to visit a favorite place of mine along the Kaaterskill Creek.

IMG_3182_01_LR_12

The creek makes a dogleg turn through a large section of chert – a fine grained sedimentary rock that can contain fossils. I’ve climbed these particular rocks many times in the past and always seem to come back with a few surprises. This last visit did not disappoint.

IMG_3176_01_LR_12

This slab (above), approximately 8 ft. in length, shows the irregular, hard edged scalloping that I assume comes from weathering and constant (or near constant) flowing water. In the bottom left is a tight cluster of colonial coral.

IMG_3172_01_LR_12

Finding fossils here is a very different experience than the usual hammer and chisel approach. The rock is incredibly hard – as I found out a long time ago. Hitting it with a hammer only results in some impromptu Wyle E. Coyote impersonation – hammer holds steady as entire body shakes uncontrollably!

 IMG_3298_01_LR_12

So the fossils only appear as the rock surface ever-so-slowly dissolves away. And the fossils remain attached as they dissolve at a slower rate. I have a couple of comparisons that I’ll bring you next time.

IMG_3328_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3334_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3216_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3180_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3153_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3202_01_LR_12

This last one I couldn’t resist. I’m not sure what it is. But it made for a nice picture. Actually, I found a number of somewhat similar objects in the immediate vicinity. Something makes me think that they are something much more recent than any fossils – some kind of growth?? If you have any thoughts I’d be happy to hear.

_______________

IMG_3411_01_LR_12

So, after delivering the show to the folks at Chazy Reef I had time for a stroll along the Lake Champlain shore. More fun with rocks!

IMG_3432_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_3454_01_LR_12

I’ll have more information next week about the upcoming events on Isle La Motte on the 19th. More images from the show and a few new discoveries.

IMG_3468_01_LR_12

Thanks as always for the visit.

0827: Chazy Reef Revisited

IMG_4503_01_LR_12

On our recent trip to Maine, Cindy and I stopped first in Vermont to visit friends on Isle La Motte, a beautiful island near the top of Lake Champlain. We were first drawn to the island a few years ago when we sought out the world famous, 480 million year old Chazy Fossil Reef. That visit, which resulted in a show of my Chazy Reef fossil images, also began several friendships that grow warmly with each passing year.

IMG_1799_01_LR_12

So it was time for a visit. Dinner with friends, old and new; a visit to a terrific exhibit “A Walk Through Time” at the Goodsell Ridge Preserveand,of course, another chance to photograph some of the oldest fossils I’ve ever had the opportunity to encounter.

IMG_1734_01_LR_12

The Preserve, one half of the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust, is an 81 acre reef site with a Visitor’s Center and Museum. Also, there sits a newly revived and revitalized barn that will soon formally open and serve as a nature center. It’s an old beauty brought back to life by the skilled hands, strong commitment and deep love of the local folks. They are as much a treasure as is the actual reef. For it is only due to their efforts that this world-important science site remains preserved as a National Natural Landmark.

IMG_1721_01_LR_12

The formal dedication and opening of the Goodsell Barn is set for September 19. I have been asked to produce a show for that opening. It is an honor and a pleasure to take part in the event. I’ll have more information on the show and related events soon. In the meantime, this is a selection of images, all taken at Chazy Reef, that I am busy printing and prepping for the show.

IMG_2250_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_2225_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_2317_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_5375_01a_LR_12

*****

IMG_2279_01d_ILM_LR

_______________

And now, on to Maine.

IMG_2549_01_LR_12

A few more images taken of the rock walls – those that are assaulted every day by the ocean tides.

IMG_2519_01_LR_12

It seems like every day I was drawn to these rocks…

IMG_2551_01_LR_12

…and every evening to our favorite place at sunset.

IMG_4562_01_LR_12

We’re already planning for our trip next year! Thank you Eric and Betty!

*****

IMG_2850_01_LR_12

Once darkness fell we had company! They were no problem. They hid in the dark and didn’t eat much!

IMG_2167_01_LR_12

Thanks for the visit.

0528: The Joys of Technology

IMG_6954_01b_15

This morning I got up and drove a few miles down a peaceful country road to my studio as I do every day. But somewhere between I seemed to have taken a wrong turn and landed in Technology Hell! Don’t know how it happened. Maybe some retrograde planets. Maybe some form of karmic retribution. Or just maybe it simply happened to be my turn.

_MG_3210_01_LR_10

We all have those days, hopefully not too often. But between the phone company, power company and other assorted interests, my “quiet country road” turned into a parking lot for loud, oversized heavy equipment. And all I wanted was to be somewhere else.

IMG_3903_01_LR_10

Fortunately, my photo library was there for me and I was able to calm down by revisiting wonderful places I have seen. So here today is my calmative. From the top are three images from the Adirondacks, Umbria, and Spoleto. The result of my “deep exhale” follows.

*****

_MG_3718_01_LR_10

Tuscany

*****

ILM_2618_LR_19

Fisk Quarry, Isle La Motte, Vermont

*****

_MG_1019_01_LR_12

Paris

*****

IMG_8735_01_LR_10

Chaco Canyon. New Mexico

*****

IMG_8734_01_LR_10

Eastern Montana

*****

IMG_8655_01_LR_10

 Florence

*****

IMG_9417_01_LR

Florence

*****

_MG_1339_01_LR

Notre Dame, Paris

*****

_MG_0969_01_LR_12

Eiffel Tower, Paris

*****

IMG_1426_01_LR_WP

Rome

*****

IMG_5242_01_LR_15

Ithaca, New York

*****

IMG_8015_02_LR_WP

It worked. I am quiet and content now!

Hopefully, you enjoyed it as well.

Thanks for the visit.

 

1106: The Triumph of Ignorance

IMG_7032_01_crop2_LR_10

No new work to share this week other than the opener. I’ve been focusing on early planning for upcoming shows, which I’ll get to in a moment. But first, a few things to ponder in light of the just held elections:

– Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) will likely become the new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He believes that climate science can’t be real because it conflicts with his interpretation of a phrase in the Old Testament.

– It is likely that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will take over the Science and Space panel – As the Scientific American blog posted: Based on senate seniority, it is likely that the Republicans would appoint Ted Cruz as chairman of Commerce, Science and Transportation. Cruz is a climate skeptic who recently pushed for a reduction in NASA’s budget. It is also noteworthy that he was the public face of last year’s government shutdown, which did lasting damage to scientific research.

We can go down the list – more guns, less for education, the success of lies and misinformation that leads to a more polarized society, oligarchy, etc., etc. but it gets too depressing. For an assessment, check out this piece in Slate:

Midterm Elections, the Senate, and Republican Science Denial

_______________

1969313_647917885243674_1682424996_n

Someone posted this on Facebook earlier. It seems particularly appropriate.

_______________

As I mentioned, I’ve been busy with early stage planning for a few upcoming shows – trying to thread some various images together. I always find it interesting to put images from various projects together and just see how they get along (or don’t). Here is one attempt. I’m sure there will be more. I hope you enjoy this next set.

IMG_5300_01a_LR_10

*****

img_5420_01_lr_12

*****  img_3392_01_lr_10

*****

img_2332_02d_lr_10

*****

img_3439_01_lr_12

*****

img_1864_01_lr_12

*****

img_3656pano_01a_lr_10

*****

img_1432_01_lr_12

*****

img_5568_01_lr_10

*****

img_5404_01_lr_12

*****

img_2306_01c_lr_10

*****

img_7549_01a_lr_10

_______________

And, finally, perhaps there is a message in this crosscut of Devonian rock, sent from nearly 400 million years ago.

IMG_7051_01_LR_8

Thanks for the visit.

0619: As Summer Begins

IMG_2740_01_LR_10

The local quarry, which has been a focus of mine lately, has spoiled me. Thanks to the current owner, a large section of the most fossil-laden layer (a few feet deep, I believe) has been dug up and piled very high in several places. I simply show up and load the back of my car with rocks of all shapes and sizes.

IMG_2698_01_LR_10

To be sure, I do employ some discrimination. And, while I’ve become more and more particular, I can still load the car in very short order.

IMG_2691_01_LR_10That main layer has little variation in what can be found – brachiopods mostly. (That’s why you usually see an abundance of them on this blog). Since I am more interested in the aesthetic possibilities than scientific discovery I am usually more than busy and happy with that situation.

IMG_2720_01_LR_10

*****

But there is something to the broader notion of exploration. And I was feeling that the other day as I pulled up to the same place and started to load my bag like usual. Other parts of this quarry contain some other types of fossils – different layers from different times – but far less abundant.

IMG_2675_01_LR_12

 So I set out to find them that day. And here is some of what I found.

IMG_2681_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_2704_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_2694_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_2685_01_LR_12

*****

IMG_2724_01_LR_12

*****

I even took a minute to explore the woods that form the outer boundary of the quarry  – good timing for this one!

IMG_2649_01_LR_12

_______________

Before I close, let me tell you about a wonderful event taking place this Sunday (June 22) on Lake Champlain – Isle La Motte, Vermont, to be precise. There you will find, at the Goodsell Ridge Preserve, the most ancient Chazy Reef (480 million years old). You’ll also find the dedicated group of local volunteers responsible for its preservation. And on Sunday, they invite you to the following:

YOU ARE INVITED TO THE GRAND OPENING OF THE WALK THROUGH TIME EXHIBIT. JUNE 22 1:00-5:00. FROM 1:00 TO 2:45 WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO WALK THE 4,600 FOOT TRAIL WHERE PANELS ARE SET UP DEPICTING THE 4.6 BILLION YEAR HISTORY OF EARTH. BAGPIPES WILL SUMMON YOU AT 2:45 (I hope) to A RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY. MUSIC & REFRESHMENTS FROM 3:30 to 5:00.

If you are anywhere in the vicinity please drop by. If not, then plan a trip sometime this summer. It’s a wonderful place to visit – a place to learn about and view amazing things.

IMG_2332_02d_LR_10

Thanks for the visit.

 

0213: Dreaming

img_5739_01a_lr-10I woke this morning with thoughts of an episode of The Twilight Zone“The Midnight Sun.” It was all about a woman awakening from a horrible dream in which the Earth was growing unbearably hot. She wakes to a world in deep freeze – one of those great last minute switches that show was famous for.

birdfeeder_LR_12With another snowstorm bearing down on us, that’s what came to mind first as I glanced out the window. And while ours does not approach the apocalyptic madness of that episode (far more difficult for the birds out at the feeder than for me right now)…just for that brief moment…I wondered.

So, no snow pics. Instead I pulled together a few that make me think of warmer days!

_______________

img_3524_01cropsmallCatskill Morning

_______________

img_6700_01_lr_10Storm King, NY

_______________

img_5644_01_lr_10Cornfield

_______________

img_4206_01_lr_10Red Truck

_______________

img_5715_01_lr_101The Vly, Catskill, NY

_______________

img_2412_01_lr_12v1Isle La Motte, Vermont

_______________

img_4089_indianladder_01b_lr_12Indian Ladder

_______________

img_3713_panorama1_lrHigh Falls, Catskill, NY

_______________

img_6409_01_lr_10Down the Road

_______________

One final note – The Twilight Zone episode to which I referred “The Midnight Sun” is well worth watching. I found it on youtube and it is every bit as timely now as it was then.

img_6954_01b_15Thanks for the visit.