The Heliodor Tree Frog

Hans-Jürgen Henn and Alfred Zimmermann, “Heliodor Tree Frog”, Date Unknown, Heliodor and Gold, 15 cm in Height, Henn Gems

Designed by Hans-Jürgen Henn and Alfred Zimmermann, the “Heliodor Tree Frog” was intricately fashioned by master gemstone carver Alfred Zimmermann. The frog and its perch was carved from richly colored Ukrainian heliodor, a member of the beryl family known for its hexagonal crystals, vitreous luster, and range of color. The amphibian’s gemstone perch is set on a base of eighteen-carat yellow gold; the combined materials allude to the various textures of an exotic tree trunk in the wild.  

One of the most renowned lapidary artists of the last several decades, Alfred Zimmerman is a member of an Idar-Oberstein family of gemstone carvers. Originally an apprentice of Gerd Dreher, a fourth-generation stone carver, Alfred Zimmerman is also known for working in the “Fabergé” tradition. Zimmerman’s frequent subjects are either soldiers or peasants in folkloric attire but he is well known for animal carvings of transparent crystalline minerals. Zimmermann has recently retired after a long career of finely executed sculptures.

The third-generation of the Henn family in the gemstone trade, Hans-Jürgen Henn has over fifty years of experience in the trade. From an early age, he combined his passion for precious stones with mountaineering, during which he was always searching for the rare and undiscovered. Henn, the first to coin the expression Kashmir Peridot, had the passion and foresight to preserve the Dom Pedro Aquamarine as a single, dramatic stone. This stone, the largest aquamarine ever cut, was fashioned by Bernd Munsteiner, and gifted to the Smithsonian Institute in 2011.  

For information on exhibitions, jewelry, and objects of art, the Henn Gemstone website is located at:

Cormac McCarthy: “The Sky to the North Had Darkened”

Photographer Unknown, (Imminent Storm)

“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.” 

—Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Trees at Slope Point

Photographer Unknown, “Trees at Slope Point, New Zealand”

Lying in the south-west Pacific Ocean, New Zealand consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, in addition, Stewart Island and many, smaller islands lie offshore. 

Slope Point is the southernmost point of the South Island, located just south of the small settlements of Haldane and Waikawa. The land around Slope Point, with its eroded cliffs dropping to the sea, is devoid of houses and is primarily used for sheep farming. There are no roads going to Slope Point; access is reached by a fifty-minute walk following fading yellow markers. There is no public access allowed during the lambing season which extends from September to the end of November.

In the images above taken in Slope Point, the trees, hit with such persistently violent southern Antarctic winds, forcibly grow in the leeward direction. Unlike in the northern hemisphere, the westerly winds in the Southern Ocean are effectively uninterrupted by continents, often reaching speeds over one hundred miles per hour. 

Images reblogged with thanks to :

Andreas Feininger

Andreas Feininger, “Dragon Fly Wing”, 1937, Photogram

Andreas Feininger, born in 1906, is the oldest son of famous painter Lyonel Feininger, and belongs to a generation of artists who, following the First World War, discovered photography anew and developed novel photographic approaches. Andreas Feininger’s lifework has been defined by two main thematic areas: cityscapes and nature studies. The architecture and life in his adopted hometown, New York, have captured imaginations for decades. And again and again, Feininger captured the poetry of the Manhattan skyline, its urban canyons, its skyscrapers, its bridges and elevated trains in images rich with atmosphere. With equal enthusiasm he also dedicated himself to nature photography. His images, which capture in minute detail insects, flowers, mussels, wood, and stone, bestow an almost sculptural character upon natural forms.

Andreas Feininger died on February 18th, 1999 at the age of 92 in New York. He lived for photography and is remembered as one of the most significant artists in the history of photography.

Note: A photogram is a photographic image made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light. The usual result is a negative shadow image that shows variations in tone that depends upon the transparency of the objects used. Areas of the paper that have received no light appear white; those exposed for a shorter time or through transparent or semi-transparent objects appear grey, while fully-exposed areas are black in the final print.

Calathea Majestica

Photographer Unknown, Calathea Majestica

The tropical plant Calathea Majestica is native to South America’s countries of Colombia and Venezuela. Calathea plants are part of the family of plants known as Marantaceae, which is a species of flowering plants from tropical areas such as Africa and South America. Calathea are famous for their wide, green, colorful leaves with stripes of very light green. In nature, these plants, being very tolerant of low light, are found in jungles and at the base of trees


Edward Julius Detmold

Wasps by Edward Julius Detmold

Edward Julius Detmold, “Common Wasps”, From “Fabre’s Book of Insects”, 1935, Tudor Publishing Company

Painter, printmaker and illustrator Edward Julius Detmold was born in London in 1883 along with his twin brother Charles Maurice Detmold. Provided patronage by their uncle Edward Shuldhan, the two brothers studied painting and printmaking under the tutelage of their uncle Henry Detmold, also an artist. In 1898, at the age of 13, the twins exhibited watercolors at the Royal Academy, and issued a portfolio of color etchings that same year that quickly sold out and brought them notoriety. In 1899 Edward and Charles began illustrating books jointly, begining with “Pictures from Birdland”, which was commissioned and published by J.M. Dent. This was followed by a portfolio of watercolors inspired by Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”.

The brothers’ tandem success, however, was ended with the sudden death by suicide of Charles in 1908. Edward Detmold threw himself into his work, beginning with an illustrated ” Aesop’s Fables” that included 23 color plates and numerous pen and ink drawings. This began a decade of intense productivity, in which the Detmold’s execptional eye for the detail and complexities of nature allowed him to achieve his place among the best illustrators of the Victorian era.

Edward Detmold continued to illustrate numerous books, including Maurice Maeterlinck’s “The Life of the Bee”, Camille Lemonnier’s “Birds and Beasts”, his own “Twenty Four Nature Pieces”, and Jean-Henri Fabre’s “Book of Insects”. However by 1921, after witnessing the horrific results of World War I and feeling a disillusionment with his own art, he had reached the end of his zenith. Though Edward Detmold went on to illustrate one last edition of “The Arabian Nights” in 1924, he had effectively ended his career with the publishing of a literary book of aphorisms entitled “Life”. He retired to Montgomeryshire, England, and died in 1957, also from suicide.

Fabiola Forns Art: A Stunning Bird

Fabiola Forns, “Wedding Bells (Great Egret in Mating Display)”, 2012, Color Print

Fabiola Forns Art is a husband and wife team of photographers who share a passion for nature photography.  Fabs teaches photography at Miami-Dade College and Alfred has a successful dental practice. They are both award winning photographers, with Nature’s Best and NANPA selecting their work. Since joining the Photographic Society of America, the team has became Mentors for new members.

Images from Fabiola Forns Art can be found at the FineArtAmerica site located at this link: for nature photography

The Dragon Tree

Photographer Unknown, The Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco)

The Dracaena draco, or the Dragon tree, is a subtropical tree in the genus Dracaena, native to the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira, and locally in western Morocco. It has been introduced to the Azores. The tree  is a nmoncot with a branching growth pattern currently placed in the asparagus family. When young it has a single stem. At about ten to fifteen years of age, the stem stops growing and produces a first flower spike with white, lily-like perfumed flowers, followed by coral berries. Soon a crown of terminal buds appears and the plant starts branching. Each branch grows for about ten to fifteen years and re-branches, so a mature plant has an umbrella-like habit. It grows slowly, requiring about ten years to reach 1.2 metres (4 ft) in height but can grow much faster.

Cormac McCarthy: “The Iron Dark of the World”

Photographer Unknown, (The Iron Dark of the World)

“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Walter Mason

Natural Photography by Walter Mason

German artist Walter Mason offers an interesting perspective on the natural world surrounding him. He examines relationships between natural elements, re-arranging and pulling them apart to put them back in new positions. The results are profound time-based-art sculptures that highlight the fragility and beauty of the environment. His careful geometric positioning of objects in space create surreal scenes that highlight the simultaneous complexity & simplicity that can often be found in nature.

Royal Flycatcher

Royal Flycatcher: Onychorhynchus coonatus

The Royal Flycatcher is widespread, with a range that extends from southern Mexico to the Atlantic Forest of southeaster Brazil. It inhabits the lower levels of humid evergreen or deciduous forests. The Royal Flycatcher exhibits notable geograhic variation across this range, with four species recognized. The most notabl e feature is the long ornate crest, which is red to orange with black and blue spotting.