* Wed C&C "No Theme" Thread #594 on 2019 09 11 *

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
OP RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 26,623
Re: A Long Story

Scott Whittemore wrote:

Long ago, deep in the Earth’s crust somewhere in what is now North America, maybe Northern New England or Eastern Canada, a surge of magma somehow caused a layer of bedrock to fracture and be inundated by hot silica-rich fluid. The fluid lacked the heat to melt the bedrock but was probably hot enough to bake and alter it. Eventually, this slurry cooled off and hardened, forming what is known as a breccia.

Some huge span of time later, subsequent tectonic activity had further tortured the breccia and erosion at the surface had removed enough of its overburden to bring it within reach of weathering, erosion, and glacial action. One large chunk of the breccia broke off at some point and became entrained in glacial ice. For many thousands of years, it tumbled along, scraping and colliding with other materials at the base of a huge glacier. By the time the glaciers receded, something like 12,500 years ago, the battered breccia boulder and its accompanying glacial till were located in what is now Eastern Massachusetts.

Over many more thousands of years, the boulder sat quietly, buried in glacial till and subsequent deposits of sediment and decaying vegetable matter. Shallow enough to be regularly exposed to oxygen-rich, slightly acidic aqueous solutions percolating down through the soil from above, the boulder’s outer surface slowly etched and eroded. The fragments of that original bedrock were slightly softer and eroded faster than the harder quartz-rich glue that held them together.

Finally, maybe a couple hundred years ago, a farmer probably dug the boulder out of a field he wanted to cultivate.

And then, in April 2006, passing that field on my way to work at about sunrise, I finally made the decision to stop and photograph it.

I’m posting two versions of this image. The version I now include in my online galleries followed by the original version.

Thanks for reading the long story.

Current Modified Version


The original (with minor color/tonality adjustments and some sharpening):

a) Interesting geological story.  How time is relative!

b) Impressive modification of the image by flipping and removing the small tree in front of the boulder.  It is the kind of intervention I would never even consider doing.  I would probably just try to find a vantage point in the field where the tree does not obstruct the view of the boulder.  (I do realize that in this case, that would be impossible, if we also want to show the trail of smaller rocks behind it.)

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: http://www.roelh.zenfolio.com

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