020620: Gastropods Part 3

A few weeks back I posted some images of  Devonian gastropods – all local, all approximately 387 million years old. Today’s images of gastropods are from a different place and a different time.

These go back a bit further to roughly 460 million years ago, during the Ordovician Period, and are found in the earliest reef system known today. The Chazy Fossil Reef is located on Isle La Motte, one of several  islands just below the Canadian border in Lake Champlain.

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Gastropods weren’t the only creatures inhabiting that reef. Crinoids, trilobites, cephalopods and other marine invertebrates rounded out the scene.

Since 1998 the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust  has worked to conserve significant sites of the Chazy Fossil Reef.

There are two preserves on the reef, Goodsell Ridge and Fisk Quarry. Specific information on visiting can be found here.

It’s a great place to visit any time of year.

Fisk Quarry during Autumn. Reach down for a fallen apple and find more gastropods. They do show up everywhere.

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Best wishes to all my ILM friends. I look forward to our next visit!

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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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!

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Gastropods, cephalopods, and stromatoporoids.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks for the visit.

063016: Summer Begins

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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).

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

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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.

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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!

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

060216: Coral

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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A reminder to any and all:

The Geology of the Devonian

Opening Reception June 4, 3-5 pm

Erpf Gallery, Rt. 28, Arkville NY

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Thanks for the visit.