21 February 2011


Some years ago I dated a woman whose parents were hippies. They lived down the street from a responsible alcoholic, a gentle and kind man who could never quite conquer his demons but always cared for his cats and had enough sense not to drive a car. So when he visited, he did so on his riding mower, puttering the quarter mile or so along the side of the road.

One summer day I was over there hanging out when the neighbor rode over. He came inside and had a mumbling conversation with the mother for a few minutes as I listened, amazed that she could understand any of the words. Eventually they decided to go down to the nearby creek for a swim and I tagged along to play with their new puppy.

When we got to the creek they took off all their clothes and got in. The mother asked me if I wanted to swim but I hadn't really prepared myself psychologically for skinny dipping with my girlfriend's 55-year old mother and an alcoholic neighbor. Fortunately, Ohio was covered by a shallow sea 450 million years ago so I was able to excuse myself from the situation by looking for fossils in the creek bed.

I didn't find anything there, but I did find the cool rock below on a hike in the woods last weekend. It seems like there is a little bit of everything in here... based on my thorough research (i.e. looking at some pics on this page), I think there may be brachiopods, snails, clams and cephalopods, and maybe more.


Jeffrey Jakucyk said...

It's even more amazing that you can find concentrations of fossils just as dense as that in pretty much any run of the mill retaining wall around town. It's a great excuse to use the word fossiliferous. I see what looks like Crinoid stems and perhaps a few Bryozoans too.

WestEnder said...

fossiliferous... damn, that's a great word.