Images from the Nace Brock Photographic Collection

Ignatius Watsworth Brock (1866-1950) was a photographer, artist, and poet who worked out of New Bern and Asheville, NC. Images that he made roughly between 1889 and 1934 are collected at the North Carolina  Collection  Photographic Archives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nace Brock made photographs (and drawings) of people and places in North Carolina. Some of the photographic materials in the archive are from glass plates, others from photographic prints.

Some of his portraiture is stunning in how he captured his subjects’ personalities in stillness. Most of the character photographs in the collection are from 1889-1938. During most of that time period, people did not smile for portraits by convention, although in some of the photographs you can see a hint of a smile on the subject’s lips or in her eyes.

Here are a few images extracted from the collection. It’s impossible to view these images without wondering who these people were, what they were thinking, and where they went for the rest of their lives. You can almost reach out and touch them.

unidentified girl

Unidentified Girl, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cherokee Woman

Cherokee Woman, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Vashti Circa 1905

Vashti Circa 1905, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Elaine Circa 1903, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Eleanor Inman

Eleanor Inman, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

innocence

Innocence Unidentified Girl 1906, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

lilly sprite

A Lilly Sprite, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

man with violin

Man with Violin, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

mid-summer dream

A Mid-Summer Dream, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

model's criticism

The Model’s Criticism, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

nurses

Nurses, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

southern labor

Southern Labor, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

cornelia and edith vanderbilt

Cornelia and Edith Vanderbilt, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

 

unidentified child

Unidentified Child, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

unidentified man

Unidentified man, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

unidentified men

Unidentified Men, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

unidentified woman

Unidentified woman, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

unidentified African-American

Unidentified African-American, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nace Brock

Nace Brock, in the Nace Brock Photographic Collection and Related Materials #P0044, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Invasive Gastropods in High Rock Lake, NC

High Rock Lake is one of several impoundments on the Yadkin-Pee Dee river system in the North Carolina Piedmont. Flat Swamp Creek is, or was, a tributary to the Pee Dee River. After the High Rock reservoir filled Flat Swamp Creek became a narrow, northeast-trending arm to the larger lake. This arm is so linear because it follows a geologic contact between metasedimentary rocks to the east and metavolcanic rocks to the west. The stratification in these rocks is tilted by folding, and differential erosion created narrow ridges and valleys. Flat Swamp Creek occupies one of those valleys.

At the Flat Swamp access area off Highway 8 the shoreline is littered by abundant gastropod shells. These are the remains of an invasive snail Bellamya japonica. It’s reported that their presence is the consequence of snail farming (they are pretty large). The day I was there in February, 2018, the waterway was hosting hundreds of water birds.

During low water, there are great exposures of stratification and cleavage in tuffaceous siltstone and sandstone of the Cid Formation. Nearby, to the southwest and below the High Rock dam, there are volcaniclastic rocks in the Flat Swamp member of the Cid Formation. This formation and the adjacent older Tillery Formation are part of the Ediacaran to Cambrian Albemarle Group in the Carolina Terrane. These are peri-Gondwanan sequences, attached to Laurentia (ancient North America) only since the Ordovician period.

All photographs ©Andy R. Bobyarchick.

flat swamp access

Flat Swamp access area at sunset. This is a popular swimming and boating area in summer.

gulls

Gulls huddling on perimeter floats around the swimming area.

Sedimentary bedding under shallow water at the Flat Swamp access area.

bedding

A closer view of bedding.

three shells

Evacuated and beached shells of B. japonica.

B. japonica.

many shells

A wave-washed collection of B. japonica shells.

tree roots

Life is hard for a sweetgum tree when the water level fluctuates.

sunset

Sunset across Tuckertown Reservoir below High Rock dam at the Bringle Ferry Road access area.

Sand and Ripples in the Pee Dee River

Ripples are periodic waveforms throughout the natural environment. These subaqueous asymmetrical wave ripples in sand under the Pee Dee River in North Carolina are created by oscillatory wave motions normal or slightly oblique to the shoreline.

shoreline features on the Pee Dee River, Morrow Mountain State Park, NC

Sand bar, shore line, subaqueous ripples and tree stump on the Pee Dee River, Morrow Mountain State Park, NC. This photograph ©Andy R. Bobyarchick.

Needle Ice: A Gallery

Needle ice forms in porous, wet soil or sediment when the soil temperature is above freezing and the surface atmosphere temperature is below freezing. Permeability is important. Capillary action pulls water up toward the surface where the water freezes at the bases of growing ice crystals. The growing crystals are capable of lifting small particles and vegetation above the normal soil surface. This differential motion can thoroughly disaggregate and disrupt the upper several centimeters of the soil profile in temperate climates.

The images in this gallery were made in an elementary school yard where patches of bare soil are exposed. By the time I walked over the yard, the sun had melted most of the crystals except for those protected by shadows. Most of the single, larger grains on top of the crystals are coarse sand, perhaps around 2 mm (millimeters) in diameter.

All photographs in this post ©Andy R. Bobyarchick.

 

cluster of mostly standing needle ice crystals

This is a cluster of mostly standing needle ice crystals. Some of the crystals have toppled over as they began to melt. It’s likely that these crystals grew during a single freeze and growth event. In clusters with multiple growth events, there is often an intermediate layer of soil particles embedded across the axes of the crystals.

photograph of needle ice

Bundles of needle ice crystals in this cluster have fallen in different directions, probably oriented toward the least resistance or toward first melting. Some of the crystals have become detached fibers.

 

crystals with bubbles

If you look closely, you can see that many of the needle ice individuals have longitudinal trains of bubbles. These may be air bubbles released as the crystals warm up and expand, or trapped during crystal growth. Whatever they are, the bubbles enhance the intricate internal structure of the crystals.

tilted crystals

As though swept over by a wind, these translucent, melting crystals all tilted in the same direction, roughly toward the east. It may be that eastern members of the cluster melted earlier in the day (this image was made at 1:29 PM), creating space for these crystals to fall.

 

fibrous crystals

Here are some fibrous crystals, all fallen but many retaining their sandy caps.

crystals with parapets

Here is a very close view of a crystal forest with sand parapets overlooking great chasms.

 

deep canyons

Into the deep canyons you go.

 

needle ice streamlet

Here is a streamlet of needle ice not quite frazil ice. This cluster did grow in a small gully, perhaps with a fair amount of water in the soil at the time of freezing. Several of these crystal streams have deep axial rifts. It could be that the thalwegs of these little streamlets were too saturated to allow crystal growth. It did not appear that the rift floors had been modified by crystal growth.

school yard

This is the setting of the ice palaces. Not very impressive at this scale, is it? That’s because the most beautiful complexity in geology in the field is sometimes only visible in the Underworld – that diminutive realm within our vision but not often visited.

Bibliography

Carter, J. R., 2013, Flowers and ribbons of ice: American Scientist, v. 101, p. 360-369.
Li, A., Matsuoka, N., and Niu, F., 2017, Frost sorting on slopes by needle ice: A laboratory simulation on the effect of slope gradient: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, p. <xocs:firstpage xmlns:xocs=””/>. 10.1002/esp.4276
Li, A., Matsuoka, N., and Niu, F., 2018, Frost sorting on slopes by needle ice: A laboratory simulation on the effect of slope gradient: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, p. n/a-n/a. 10.1002/esp.4276
Soons, J. M., and Greenland, D. E., 1970, Observations on the Growth of Needle Ice: Water Resources Research, v. 6, no. 2, p. 579-593. 10.1029/WR006i002p00579
Yamagishi, C., and Matsuoka, N., 2015, Laboratory frost sorting by needle ice: a pilot experiment on the effects of stone size and extent of surface stone cover: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 40, no. 4, p. 502-511. 10.1002/esp.3653

Needle Ice in a Loamy Soil

Needle ice in a loamy soil in a schoolyard near Salisbury, NC. The individual particles on top of the needles are coarse sand in size. Needle ice forms when soil water moves upward under capillary pressure and freezing when it contacts cold air. I will be posting a gallery of images with context on my blog soon. (The server is having intermittent problems right now.)