> ROCKS: Rockscapes (select) File:ROCKS, select pics. Update: 2020-03-28.
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Derek's Art Shows

- ROCKSCAPES, a photo essay. One of my earliest thematic collections. The result of a kayak trip on Georgian Bay in the summer of 1997. Based at a campsite on Pleasant Island, we explored Wreck Island and its rock formations. A boat dock and interpretive trail are maintained by Massassauga Provincial Park.

- But suppose I'd found a truly marvellous stone?
"In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were [I] asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there." Paley: Natural Theology

- I stood like one thunderstruck.
"It happened one day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen in the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition. I listened, I looked round me, I could hear nothing, nor see anything. I went up to a rising ground, to look farther. I went up the shore, and down the shore, but it was all one; I could see no other impression but that one. I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for that, for there was exactly the very print of a foot -- toes, heel, and every part of a foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor could in the least imagine." Defoe: Robinson Crusoe

July 26 - Wreck Island - blood-red algae.
"And it came to pass, when they were in the fields, that Cain rose up against Abel, his brother and slew him. And the Lord knew it and said unto Cain, where is Abel thy brother? And Cain said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

"And the Lord said, What has thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood cries out unto me. Now you are cursed by the very ground that has received blood from your hands. When you till that ground, it will give you no sustenance: a fugitive and a vagabond will you be on the face of the earth.

"And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear." Adapted from Genesis 4:8-13

- Enchantress in short robe of silvery sheen.
"Dawn ascended to a golden throne while Circe completed her instructions. She clothed me in my tunic and cloak and dressed herself in a long robe of silvery sheen, light in fabric and charming to the eye. She put a veil on her head, and round her waist she began to fasten a splendid golden belt. But then she undid it and gave it to me. Then I walked through the palace and made the round of my men, rousing them each with a cheerful word.

"'Wake up,' I said, 'and bid your pleasant dreams farewell. We must be off. My lady Circe has given me our sailing orders.'" Adapted from Homer: The Odyssey (tr. Rieu), p.170

- You think the Heavens should applaud?
"'Very well, Richard, let's argue about a subject we both have in common. English literature. You are biggest perpetrator of ... what do you call it auf Englisch? The pitiful fallacy.' Traces of Olde Worlde charm began to reappear in her speech whenever she was agitated. But her aim at Richard's phoney nostalgia was dead on.

"'You think the heavens should applaud whenever you are in a good mood. When your picnic is rained out, the skies are weeping. If we see a beautiful sunset, or even a lightning storm, you point your finger and say, 'Signs and portents' ... and then you get all atmospheric and want to make love ...'

"'That's the pathetic fallacy, Tanya, not the pitiful fallacy.'" D. Richards: Premonitions of the Past

- The dark terrestrial ball.

"What though in solemn silence all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball,
What though no real voice, nor sound,
Amidst their radiant orbs be found;

"In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
For ever singing, as they shine,
'The hand that made us is divine.'"
Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719): from a hymn based on Psalm xix

- Seepage of molten rock.
"... the slow constant seepage of molten rock was not violently dramatic. Layer upon layer of the earth's vital core would creep out, hiss horribly at the cold sea water, and then slide down the sides of the little mountains that were forming. Building was most sure when the liquid rock did not explode into minute ashy fragments, but cascaded viscously down the sides of the amountains, for this bound together what had gone before, and established a base for what was to come." James Michener: Hawaii, p.3

- Giant Clams and Political PC-ness.
Tridaca gigas, the Giant Clams of the Pacific and Indian Oceans can weigh 200 lbs and measure 4 ft across. They "display a remarkable variety of colours when open, and can send spouts of water shooting upward when they close." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed.

They also have the reputation, in fiction at least, of clamping onto the wrist of the unwary diver who would grope for fabulous pearls beneath that frilly hemline.

- Cross-purposes.
"They'd said their final goodbyes that afternoon outside the university library, standing about fifteen feet apart in separate snowbanks. Crowds of students surged back and forth on the gray macadam path between them. Richard wouldn't have been surprised if the incident made the student newpaper. They were famous for these lovers' debates staged at unlikely points about the campus. Normal couples would twine together before sign-in, battling frostbite in dark corners near the entrance to the University Girls' Residence, using up last precious minutes of cuddling time. Meanwhile, these two "fellow-travellers" might be standing beside the frozen lily-pond discussing the meaning of love in the abstract, the long-term prospects for a durable relationship, or the bleak future of socialism as we know it." D. Richards: Premonitions of the Past

- In the womb of waters - 1.
"The earth was form'd, but in the womb as yet
Of waters, embryon immature involv'd,
Appear'd not: over all the face of earth
Main ocean flow'd not idle; but with warm
Prolific humour softening all her globe,
Fermented the great mother to conceive,
Satiate with genial moisture; ...

- In the womb of waters - 2.
"... when God said,
Be gather'd now ye waters under heaven
Into one place, and let dry land appear. --
Immediately the mountains huge appear
Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave
Into the clouds; their tops ascend the sky ..."
Milton: Paradise Lost, Bk vii, v. 276

Further Rockscape candidates follow. Suggestions for accompanying texts would be welcome.

- Lamorandiere campsite, Killarney.

97-06-21 - Corinth - Pillars of the Community. "Here lies Pheidippides, who ran with news of the victory at Marathon to Athens, then died, unable to think of an encore.

"However, that death was flawed. We have it on good authority that he was seen in abundant health, years later, promenading the streets of Corinth ... with a sweet-meat eating Dacian princess on his arm: statuesque of build, who would dispute with the sophists in the agora. Even so, the flaw in the legend may really be a virtue.

"Consider: The radical thoughts of Socrates, hemlock-stilled, live on today only in the mumbly words of Plato; and the Phoenix, boring bird, rises yawning every century from its own ashes. Meh. But Pheidippides provides a deeper inspiration: to keep the reputation only death may confer, while rising like the Phoenix -- in secret, to guzzle at will the nectar of the hemlock and the grape."

D. Richards: Premonitions of the Past

Authorial note: That's her. Second from the right, above.

- Rockscape w. white flowers, Pukaskwa.

81-08-26 - Shoreline view, L. Superior.

81-08-26 - Shoreline view, L. Superior.

85-08-28 - Campsite, Baie Fine.

85-08-26 - Pine needles in cleft, Baie Fine.

85-08-28 - Puddle in groove, Baie Fine.

85-08-30 - Tectonic lightning, Fraser Bay.

85-08-30 - Continents adrift, Fraser Bay.

85-08-30 - Slide, Fraser Bay.

85-08-30 - Island cliffs, Fraser Bay.

85-08-31 - Pool, Georgian Bay Island.

85-08-31 - Lichens, GBI.

85-08-31 - Quartz "L", GBI.

s06-02-15 86-08 - Avalanche Mtn(?), Adirondacks.

s06-02-15 86-08 - On the descent, Mt. Madison.

s06-02-15 86-08 - Forillon National Park.

86-08 - Forillon NP.

s06-02-15 86-08 - Forillon, NP.

86-08 - Forillon.

86-08 - Forillon.

86-08 - Perce.

93-07 - Lime kilns, St. David's.

93-07 - Lime kilns, St. David's.

93-08-31 - Giant's teeth. Botanical Beach, Vancouver Is.

93-08-31 - Natural picnic shelters, Botanical Beach.

93-08-31 - Botanical Beach.

93-08-31 - Hieroglyph, Botanical Beach.

93-08-31 - Botanical Beach.

02-03 - Zen boulder, Twenty-mile Creek.

02-08-06 - Puddingstone, Writing-on-stone.

02-08-06 - Sentinel hoodoos.

02-08-10 - Glacial erratic, Okotoks, Alberta.

05-03-03 - Glenridge Quarry, St. Catharines.

05-03-03 - Keep your distance, Glenridge Quarry.

05-03-03 - Anomaly, Glenridge Quarry. 17-07-18: This has since been removed. My guess is: for some trumped up liability reason.

07-09-08 - DR, birding, Algonquin Park. OK, I wasn't really paying attention to the birds, Kayo.

16-07-15 - Thrombolites, NFLD. Meet your earliest ancestor ... the rock, not Miriam. These were created at the beginning of time by early bacterial action, probably billions of years ago.

16-07-15 - Thrombolite fission.

15-01-03 - Nacreous ice
D339-004 "select" source folder
D339-004 "all" source folder

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