041918: Return to Mars

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at images lately (as opposed to making new ones). Again and again, I find my way back to NASA‘s amazing online libraries of Mars images. Today’s images come from the Mars Curiosity Rover (the first three), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

As a young boy I dreamed about adventures in space. Tom Swift Jr., Tom Corbett Space Cadets, Rocky Jones Space Ranger – they were constant companions in my imagination.

Mars has been the focus of imaginative fiction for well over a hundred years (See kirkusreviews). These days, as so much science fiction has become science fact, we think “when” rather than “if” regarding any visits.

Now we can see it with the clarity of a view out our windows. And, despite its apparent lifelessness, there is a beauty and sense of natural balance that we see on our own pale blue dot!

I hope you might enjoy these enhanced¬†color images. If any of you are curious I’d be happy to provide information about any particular image.

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Thanks for the visit.

Down at the Creek

Kaaterskill Creek passes within a couple of hundred yards of my studio. After dropping down from the eastern escarpment of the Catskill Mountains, it joins with Catskill Creek on its way to the Hudson River. Thanks to the omnipresent rock formations and outcroppings, indeed rock floor just about everywhere, there are nearby stretches that contain varying amounts of fossils. A great destination on a sunny early Spring day.

The opening image is that of “tentaculites“, conical, ribbed fossils that are poorly understood for a variety of reasons. This was my first find on Tuesday’s hike – not a bad way to begin. The image itself reminds me of some insignia patch that Tom Corbett or Tom Swift might have worn!

A funny thing happens every time I walk this one stretch of creek. It takes only a moment to find something to engage me visually. And once engaged, the opportunities cascade onward well past any original plans. So, on that particular afternoon I found more fossils, including a wonderful piece of ripple rock with a well placed trace fossil crown!

In such a beautiful location, it’s easy to be so focused on finding fossils that you can miss everything else – and there is always so much more. On that day I spent time with the “natural” assemblages still in place from Hurricane Irene.

And, last but not least, there are the rocks. They are so hard to ignore (even without any fossils attached). Let your mind wander with the thoughts they might evoke.
It was a very good day down on the creek.

One final note: Last week I mentioned the Interview and spread in the Spring, 2012 issue of Kaatskill Life Magazine. Many friends from outside the area wrote that they were unable to see the article, given the limited web presence of the magazine online. So I have posted the interview and selected images from the article, all of which can be found at Kaatskill Life Article.

Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

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