Friday, November 07, 2014

A Fall Canoe Paddle - Part 2

We paddled into the main part of the river and since there was little or no wind and very few watercraft churning along, the river's surface was calm making it perfect gliding ahead, no wakes to dodge and no swells to ride.  

Coasting past the sea wall that protected the private island home of a resident we were soon approaching the farm field that was eroding away just above our heads.  Yes, this can be a danger if you are not careful.  On the flatland above was a corn field and at the edge of the cliff was a side road that would seem dangerous to me if I was riding a tractor.  I had trespassed near there last spring and photographed the sun on the water and the weedy flowers that has been missed by the farmer.


Some buried electrical cable had already broken free and was lying against the cliff and falling to the shore into the water.  It was probably the line that had delivered electricity to the island home at one time.



The layers of soil showing the history of this earth were clearly visible and told the story if you could read the geology.  I knew that the bottom layers were many millions of years old, but could not give you a date exactly and neither could a geologist even with carbon dating.  The dark bottom layer has lots of bivalves:  clams, mussels, oysters and a few small scallop shells.   The line of earth against the water is so dark making me think it must have been a marsh or swamp rich in carbon when dinosaurs roamed. 




As always, you can click on the photos for a close-up.
The layer above the dark mud is filled with giant Pectens (scallops) and is really eye-catching because you can see the better part of the shells and their lacy fan shape is beautiful.   They are large, up to 5 inches.  There is some discussion about whether these are really fossils because they are not completely mineralized.   They are fragile and can be broken, just like Tabor who has not yet become a fossil.  Still these are at least 5 million years old and may be older which gives me hope!  The bed of the river below the water's surface is covered with those shells that have been torn from the side of the cliff and some day when it is warmer we may return and do a small collection of them.  There appear to be millions from which to choose !




If you have ever seen a live scallop you know that they dance along the floor of the ocean and into the water by clapping their shells together.  I think of little self-propelled castanets showing off with gaiety.  I looked at this wall of shells and wished I had some archaeological tools with me, project for a warm spring day.



11 comments:

joeh said...

Very cool.

Don't give away your location, they might try and drill for oil!

ellen abbott said...

yes, very cool.

sandra hagan said...

Absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing the photos and explanations!

sandra hagan said...

Post Script:

Looking back through your most recent posts I see you are indeed a stellar photographer!!

Red said...

You can make a canoe trip very interesting.

Bob Bushell said...

Great photos Tabor, especially the scallops, stunning.

Granny Annie said...

"They are fragile and can be broken, just like Tabor....." and all the rest of us!!

Wow, so cool.

Kat said...

Wow! That is very cool!

messymimi said...

Like the fragile beauty of the whole earth! That's a wonderful place to be on a pretty day, i'm sure.

Mage said...

REally magic stuff. The one image with the single, clear, scallop shell has great power.

barbara judge said...

What an incredible tour you have taken me on with your beautiful shots along the river. Especially liked the, almost, fossils of scallops. -- barbara