Sunday, January 13, 2019

Weekend Wanderings ... Poricy Park Fossil Beds

The weekend's wander found me going solo, as I'm still at my parent's place. I had thought about visiting Sandy Hook, to do a bit of winter birding, but it was 21° F when I woke this morning, and I didn't have the proper attire with me.

So I chose a park local to my mom and dad's, Poricy Park. Specifically, I went to the Fossil Beds section of the park.

Off down the trail went I.

Which follows a stream that carves into the banks.

Which reveals the fossils.

The cliff side is unstable, and digging could bring it down on top of you. Thus the warning.

As this close up shows, most of the cliff face is ice mixed with dirt. There were mini landslides throughout my time there. Rain water soaks into the soil and upon freezing pushes a layer of dirt up. The subsequent melting sends it tumbling down.

The resulting erosion leaves the trees in a precarious position, although they seem to be adapting to the situation. And it exposes the fossils, which likewise tumble down into the stream.

🦖  🐚  🦕  🐚  🦖

Dinosaurs first come to mind when one thinks fossils, but this area was underwater. So here one finds shells.

Well, mostly shell fragments.

They were all about on edge of the stream.

As with the cliff face, the ground was frozen as well. And fossils like the one above were inaccessible, frozen in place.

And while I found plenty of shells, I hoped to find a shark's tooth. But it was not to be.

🦈  😕  🦈  😕  🦈

The fossil area was at the start fo the trail, and it wasn't clear that there was much of a trail after.

Did I mention it was cold? They icicles were an obvious sign, but the streams which crisscrossed the area had a cap of ice. 

Some of which was colorful. Due to decaying vegetation methinks, mostly leaves.

But being in a valley kept the wind down, so it was actually a pleasant saunter through the flood plain.

There were signs everywhere that the area had been recently flooded. Vegetation all flattened in the same direction.

Many toppled trees.

And debris washed about.

As you can see, the area was also almost completely devoid of greenery. I think this might be skunk cabbage.

One expected culprit. But I wonder if the flooding has a impact as well.

As with last week's wander, I eventually came to a spot that where I could not continue. And it was back to the car for me.

🌳  🌳  🌳

As with many natural areas this one was preserved through the actions of concerned citizens. Thanks to them, I enjoyed a pleasant Saturday morning. It was relaxing and helped reduce the stress of dealing with dad's injury.

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