Sunday, April 2, 2017

Arizona Aquascape

There are parts of this recording that I watched like this: skip, skip, skipskipskip skip. James Findley somehow gets his hands on a few pieces of Arizona petrified forest and just holding the things and imagining them being trees 225 million years ago that grew two hundred feet tall. Just thinking about it blows them away. Even though they're not American it begins a fascination with Arizona so they dedicate a whole tank to the rocks that they have. To Arizona.

How thoughtful.

If you stuck with it, and as seen in the key frame, this doesn't look like the Petrified Forest.

We can say inspired by the petrified forest. Inspired by Arizona. The choice of red palette, textures, plant height all inspired by imaginings of how an idealized Arizona could be and all that applied through a Nature Aquarium style. 

By studying these three Takashi Amano books. There's more than three, but a set of books are numbered to 3.  

In wich I learn that I share the same birthday. Same year too, as the author. And ages ten through twelve we lived some ten miles apart. I was especially interested in what he wrote about that age. We both had an interest in aquariums at that time. He experimented with tossing soda water into his small aquariums and doing water changes every day so his difficulty was keeping up with soda water demand. That was his way of increasing CO2. He observed the affects on fish. He increased light and began planting local plants, experimenting with extending what he can get away with. He changed the entire industry. Over time. The products that James Findley is spreading in the aquarium above are all worked out by Takashi Amano's company. 

But Arizona does not look like this. Arizona is not this lush. Even when the desert experiences a flush following a drought, like now, and the whole desert suddenly blooms it's still not so lush as this aquarium. 

No, vegetation is sparse in the Petrified Forest. This is where the stones really have center stage to themselves. 

February Arizona Highways dedicated a few essays to Arizona Petrified Forest. This is where I thought that I read how they were formed but now I cannot find it.

So instead, from Wikipedia:
Petrified Forest National Park is known for its fossils, especially of fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic period of the Mesozoic era, about 225 million years ago. During this period, the region that is now the park was near the equator on the southwestern edge of the supercontinent Pangaea, and its climate was humid and sub-tropical.[12] What later became northeastern Arizona was a low plain flanked by mountains to the south and southeast and a sea to the west.
That part was for fun. See, to enjoy it we must hold two disparate inconsistent things in mind as if they are not contrasting and not discordant. Entire continents can break up and shift around the climate experience repeated periods of extremes, giant species that reigned supreme for a million years eliminated. While on the other hand ... forget it. I don't want to give the argument any oxygen.

Here's the real part. 
Streams flowing across the plain from the highlands deposited inorganic sediment and organic matter, including trees as well as other plants and animals that had entered or fallen into the water. Although most organic matter decays rapidly or is eaten by other organisms, some is buried so quickly that it remains intact and may become fossilized. Within the park, the sediments containing the fossil logs for which the park is named are part of the Chinle Formation.
That's a lot more passive than where I read elsewhere nearby eruptions coated entire forests of incredibly tall trees with silica that was taken up into the cells and compressed to crystallization and then over vast time the whole scene eroded so the ground literally dissolves from under the crystalized trees. 

And hardly anything grows on the surface. images, [petrified forest]. The photos are stunning. They're inspiring. It makes the hobbyist want to paint the picture with plants while pictures of the actual place show very sparse plant growth. You could say the place is a proper desert. 

I enjoyed the Arizona Highways article. The concept for them is obviously recycled. The photographs especially are outstanding. Flipping through and reading with a magnifying glass, the whole time I was reminded of a friend a long time ago whose family drove there. I watched their dog. Lady. This took me back decades. He told me way back then that they didn't bring any rocks back because if people did then the place would be stripped. That made sense. Too bad. 

It's not just me thinking the Arizona Highways article is great. This month letters to the editor are published from readers recalling their own childhood trips to the petrified forest. Some wonder why the segments look like they're sawn into pieces. 

While national forests aren't the only places that petrified wood is found.

Our own aquarium ode to Arizona's petrified forest, and named that, will have a lot less plants and very low ones, and the whole thing will resemble more closely a Japanese rock garden. Most of these examples are inauthentic it appears to me. Too garish. Too involved. Too much stuff. Real ones are characterized as sparse. Spartan in esthetic. 

It's weird to call genuine real Japanese work inauthentic but I do. I had the real ones explained to me at the real places, shrines, actually not that great an experience at the time. I wasn't into it then. And they weren't all Zen gardens either. They say the idea of the rock garden is like expressing the concept of Japan itself. The garden is water with islands. Sometimes the gardiners rake waves through the little stones around islands of larger stones. To do that you have to stand on the islands.

That idea is close to what the real Arizona petrified forest is like. And it would make a great tank interior. And without all those pesky demands of increased CO2 and intensified light.

1 comment:

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

The Petrified Forest itself is beautiful--although it can get a wee bit hot in the summer.