022218: A New Mix

A new project has had me busy lately – a little mixing and matching of work that I have shown in the past – just presented a bit differently.

Some rocks and some fossils in the rocks.

More info on this project to come. In the meantime, here are the selected images.

All these images were taken in New York, Vermont, and Maine – a nice sampling of geologic and paleontological eye candy from the Northeast United States!

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

Thanks for the visit.

071317: An Unusual Time

Another day, another bombshell report. I turn on the news each day and think to myself that this political nightmare we find ourselves in will soon come to resolution. And each day I scold myself for my naivete. This is going to take a long time to get clear of.

So I immerse myself in my work, finding my photo libraries to serve as useful and important distractions from the news of the day. Today’s opening image started me off on the right path. This very lyrical (and even poetic) image of a partial gastropod, found at one of my most favorite places, Isle La Motte, Vermont, led me to piece together this somewhat disparate selection of images.

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

*****

This final image is a playful variation on the opening one. A partial mirroring seemed to provide an intriguing alternate image.

That’s it for today. Thanks for the visit. Enjoy this beautiful summer (it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye!).

120116: Recent Pics

dsc01086_01a_lr_12

Several days of much needed rain has kept me inside, leaving shooting plans on hold. I’m never at a loss, though, thanks to a library full of overlooked images.

dsc01093_01_lr_12

In reviewing image folders from the past few months, I came up with this selection – a mixed bag of objects ranging from plant life (above) to three more fossil images (at the end) from Isle La Motte.

dsc00257_02_lr_12

In between are a few local rocks and fossils and this unique artifact (above) – a “smudge pot” holder from a Tuscan vineyard where we dug for fossils on a previous visit. Yeah, most people return from such a trip with objects of beauty. Me – I come back with interesting junk!

dsc00433_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02250_01_lr_12

*****

dsc00387_01_lr_12

*****

dsc00238_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02104_01_lr_12

_______________

dsc02319_01_lr_12

These are the three new images from September’s visit to Isle La Motte.

dsc02393_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02705_01_lr_12

_______________

dsc03096_01-copy-2a_lr_12

I close today with a creekside view of a wonderland created by my good friend, Harry Matthews, the Renaissance Man of High Falls Road!

Thanks for the visit.

100616: Chazy Reef 2016

dsc02491_01_lr_12

Just got back from Isle La Motte, Vermont after retrieving my recent show. It’s always a pleasure visiting with all the fine folks at the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust. It’s also a pleasure to take some time sitting on the shore of Lake Champlain, relaxing amid the surrounding beauty

dsc02424_01_lr_12

The water was exceptionally low, something we’ve heard throughout the Northeast for months now. The receding shoreline has exposed usually submerged rocks, giving us a reason to walk the shore and explore.

dsc02618_01_lr_12

Aside from the odd apple tree (an escapee from one of the numerous orchards on the island), we found way too many fossils to even count. What a bonanza!

dsc02670_01_lr_12

Gastropods, cephalopods, and stromatoporoids.

For those unfamiliar, gastropods are the spirally ones, cephalopods are the straight ones, and stromatoporoids are the wavy ones.

dsc02666_01_lr_12

They are all marine invertebrate fossils from the Ordovician Period, roughly 480 million years ago.

dsc02707_01_lr_12

This southern part of the island, a world renowned geological treasure known as the Chazy Fossil Reef, is the world’s oldest ecologically diverse fossil reef.

dsc02477_01_lr_12

Information on the science and history of the Reef can be found at the ILMPT website. The story of the environmental battles that led to the preservation of the reef sites, “The Quarriers: A Conservation Tale,” written by Linda Fitch, can be found here.

dsc02517_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02677_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02634_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02486_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02380_01_lr_12

An important part of ILMPT’s mission is public education. Student groups from all over the region make visits to the Goodsell Ridge Preserve, where many fossil outcrops exist. The newly renovated barn, now the Nature Center is a focal point for students, educators, scientists, tourists, and the local population.

img_6363_01_lr_12

*****

dsc02359_01_lr_12

I’ll finish for today with these two images, a sponge above and a gastropod below, new additions to the collection in the Nature Center. Plan a visit if you are in the area.

dsc02346_01_lr_12

Thanks for the visit.

063016: Summer Begins

DSC00542_01_LR_12

I needed to get the blood circulating the other day so I walked down to the nearby creek. It was one of those Summer days when life seemed to slow down to a crawl – temperature and humidity pressing down like a vise – leaving me somewhat listless, hoping for a breeze of any sort to bring respite.

DSC00535_01_LR_12

I’ve come to learn that, on days like that, Kaaterskill Creek, even as it runs low this time of year, can always provide that needed respite. Always a breeze creekside.  Always eight to ten degrees cooler. And this day possessing one of the only patches of day lilies around (the rest all eaten down by the large deer population).

DSC00550_01_LR_12

I also managed to find this nice large (5-6′) slab of ripple rock. The breeze and cooler air served its purpose and so, feeling refreshed, I returned to the studio where I continued to sort through the thousands of fossil rocks piled outside. By now there are so many that I have forgotten about that it was either like seeing old friends again or discovering something anew. Either way. it’s a win – win situation!

DSC00562_01_LR_12

What you see above is a grouping of trilobite parts, all of which are parts of head sections (cephalon). While there are many areas where trilobites are plentiful, this is not one of them. So this is somewhat uncommon for me. The bulging piece in the lower left is that head section. The dotted parts on each side are the eyes. Those other dotted fragments  are eyes also (from other trilobites).

DSC00637_01_LR_12

The tail section, or pygidium, appears a bit more frequently in this area. These are three that I have recently found locally.

DSC00640_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00576_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00608_01_LR_12

The more commonly found fossil around here is the brachiopod. I have read that there are well over 10,000 different types, thus the variety of looks.

DSC00607_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00624_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00619_01_LR_12

*****

DSC00628_01_LR_12

_______________

DSC00517_01_LR_12

I’ll close for today with these two images. My recent forays into the woods continue to result in finding beautiful sculptural pieces of wood. This one struck me as some kind of headless recumbent figure. And below, once again, another visitor to my shooting table – ancient looking creatures coming together over millennia!

DSC00561_01_LR_12

Thanks for the visit. Please have a safe and happy 4th!

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.

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,