072717: A Walk in the Woods

The past few days have seen an explosion of mushrooms. A brief walk in the woods  turned into a fine shooting opportunity for me. I’ve learned from past experiences that mushrooms grow fast when the conditions are right. Fortunately my ever so flexible schedule allowed me to take time to explore.

I know little about mushrooms. I do know that they are fascinating to look at.

To show how quickly they grow please note the image above. Then take a look at the image below. these images were taken 24 hours apart.

That fly was not the only flying insect around. The fresh rains and heavy humidity helped to create whole armies of mosquitos that made thoughtful and deliberate camera adjustments luxuries I could not afford!

I was particularly struck by what I think was such a wide variety of mushroom types in a relatively small area.






I also happened to run across a plant whose leaves (or fronds) were the size of a baby elephant’s ears! I couldn’t resist bring them back to the studio. These are a few of the studies that resulted.




Who knows what the surrounding forest might yield next?!

Thanks for the visit.

050417: The New Neighborhood

Having finally settled in at the new studio I had time the other day to take a stroll through the surrounding woods. Plenty to explore this time of year, especially on the forest floor. Many shades of green, muted to vibrant. The walk ended (as most things usually do for me) with a look at some of my transplanted fossils..

For all my friends in the area – We will be celebrating the completion of the studio with an Open House on Saturday, May 20, from 1 pm until 5 pm.The address is 15 Mountain Wood Road in Catskill and all are welcome. So, if you are in the vicinity please join us.

In the meantime please enjoy today’s images:













Enjoy these beautiful Spring days! And thanks for the visit.

092816: Continuation


Last week I posted some images of fossils with encroaching moss. We’ll, I was so pleased to work with the color that moss brought that I sought out more. In some cases just a thin hint of what will come. And in others full, rich mats of lush growth.


It’s kind of interesting to me that this very simple form of life chose to get started on an impression of life from hundreds of millions of years ago!


In the case of each of these, they were only just a few years ago “liberated” from the inside of large rocks by my hammer and chisel.














One more piece of green – a mushroom from the woods out back of the studio.


And, finally, I’m happy to say that these two images from last week’s post have been chosen for the two juried shows opening this Saturday, October 1 4-6 pm at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum (WAAM) in Woodstock NY. Please drop in if you are in the area.


090916: A Strange Landscape


I walked into a strange landscape the other day. Adjoining my local quarry is a secondary one I seldom visit, mainly because it has so few fossils. It is also a place where some of the locals go to play with their deadly toys. Shell casings of every various size litter the ground along with their obliterated targets – like the one above, the tabletop of a child’s highchair.


How anything can grow here is a wonder to me.








There is, though, one large rock, rapidly disintegrating thanks to the elements, that contains some surprises.


Closeups of the rock’s surface shows the emergence of brachiopods from within.




I brought this one to the studio where it seemed to sit comfortably on a bed of colonial coral.


I returned from the quarry to my studio via a path through the woods. And it seems that the timing was fortuitous. Fungi popping up everywhere!










And, on that same walk, I couldn’t resist this detail on a large tree trunk.

Thanks for the visit.

0407: An Odd Mix


This time last week I was hurrying to get the blog posted. It was 72 degrees out with a bright sun – easily the best day of this early Spring. The rest of the day was spent at my favorite quarry where I eventually filled the trunk of my car with fossil laden rocks.


Fresh material to explore and photograph. Material enough, I was sure, to fill several of these posts. Most particularly today’s.


But two days later, my plans changed when a Spring surprise arrived in the form of six inches of snow. And that pile of rocks sits waiting for me.


So, in search of a  new topic for today, I decided to browse one of my photo libraries from a few years ago. Often, I can find many images that I had originally passed over (for whatever reason). And, with fresh eyes and a different perspective, they all becomes new material to explore.


What you see today is this rather odd mix of images that seemed to beckon to me – no criteria other than that.












This next set of images is from the Florence Museum of Natural History – this time the subject is bones.








And, finally, a nice piece of news – The image above, which I had shared with you a few weeks ago, has been selected for “Far & Wide”, the 8th Annual Woodstock Regional Exhibition. Entitled “Natural History – Mushrooms,” it was taken at the Botanical Division of the aforementioned museum. Opening and reception is set for May 7 from 4-6 pm.

Thanks for the visit.

0324: A Spring Break


Another walk starts off this week’s post. It was an overcast early Spring afternoon that got me up and away from the computer – a break from all the Florence images that have had me tied up lately. A need for nature not pixels! The lichen was a good start.


The garden showed me some things new…


…and some things old.


Some shapes reminded me of other shapes.

Some images reminded me of other images.


And that brought me back to the computer – which led to this mix.


Crustacean 1, La Specola


Crustacean 2, La Specola


Stairwell, Bardini Gardens


Tools of Mosaic Artist


Jupiter and Saturn, Orrery, Galileo Museum


Gastropod, Florence Museum of Natural History


Santa Maria della Spina, Pisa


San Miniato al Monte, Florence


Virgin with Child and Bicycles, Florence


Vasari’s Vision of Hell, Duomo, Florence


Thanks for the visit.

0310: A Curious Cabinet


I discovered months ago that many of my regular viewers have a thing for mushrooms (you know who you are!). Today’s post is one you might find particularly interesting. The opening image, above, is a cabinet that runs from desktop to ceiling, one of many that line the walls of a small room in the Botany Section of the Florence Museum of Natural History. And, yes, it is filled with mushrooms – or rather – a beautiful collection of mushroom sculptures from the 1800s.


Every door that was opened to me in the museum last month gave way to fascinating objects of all sorts. This one, though, caught me completely by surprise.


I was visiting with Dr. Chiara Nepi, Section Head of the Botany Department. Dr. Nepi had allowed me to photograph in her areas on my last visit. She was most kind and generous to me at that time and so a visit this trip to say hello was very much in order. As the visit was wrapping up I mentioned about my experience with my neighbor’s mushroom farm. “Have you seen our collection of mushrooms?” she asked. No, I was not aware but more than happy to take a look.


Within moments, the door to this room opens. And, once again, I’m dumbfounded by what I see!


Turns out the Museum has this collection of amazing models (more than 200, I believe) made in the 1800s by the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Barla, a curious and interesting scholar, naturalist, and botanist. His models became appreciated by both researchers and enthusiasts and were in such high demand that he began manufacturing them in the 1850s.


These are just a few of the pieces in the collection, which was donated to the museum over a period of years.






So, I thank Dr. Nepi once again for the opportunity to play with these little gems!




I also managed to have a few moments with another interesting, small collection – this time belonging to the Ornithology Department. Birds’ nests and birds’ eggs.


Prepping these images for today’s post seems particularly appropriate on a day like today. Back home now after traveling. Early Spring. The sky is filled with long, long “V”s of honkers heading north – like trains lined up one behind the other, waiting for their turn to head home.


Birds are everywhere – probably checking out the best location for a new nest!


Thanks for the visit.