Fossil hunting along the Chesapeake.

Jul 21 2011

A couple of months back I went hiking by the Chesapeake with Orthaevelve, her mother, and Jarin. It was in mid- to late spring, so it was before the heat and humidity rolled in to settle like a misasma over the DC area. I don't know exactly how far we hiked, only that it was a good four or five hour trip all told, from hiking in to spending time at the shore hunting for fossils to hiking back to where we'd parked. There was a goodly amount of wildlife out and about during our trip, from dragonflies and skinks to the odd ground beetle. We were able to witness first-hand what a small clan of beavers can do to a forest; when they're not gnawing on every wooden structure they can get to they're building dams across streams that eventually cause entire groves to flood. I spent some time experimenting with macro photography on this trip, but discovered too late that my difficulty in focusing came from a smudge on the lens that I hadn't noticed before. Jarin pointed out that much of the marshland in the park was a good source of bog iron, which we could see leaching up from the muck in a few places. Unfortunately, we got a very good look at the erosion at the base of the cliff, where countless people have been chipping away at (and undercutting) the stone there. It's only a matter of time before some of the trees at the edge of the cliff lose their hold and topple to the beach.

Unfortunately, it's been too long since the trip, so all of the details - the important ones - are in the pictures. Life has gone on, and I've been up to my neck in this and that (as I'll talk about later).

Anyway, here they are.