Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My favorite places

Due to the varied geological history of the area it has become a geologists and paleontologists paradise, there are many opportunities to study the past as it lays before you, revealing it’s secrets in countless gorges and embankments along creeks and roadways. I recently read about someone nearby actually finding prehistoric animal bones when excavating for a swimming pool!

In eon's past, this region was covered by an inland see (the source of many of the fossils found here today), at another time it was covered with a thick sheet of ice which at one point extended as far south as New York City, where you can still see the deep gouges carved by rocks (in the Bronx Botanical Garden as well as in Central Park in Manhattan) trapped beneath the ice as it expanded and receded!

There are even clubs for interested amateurs who would like to learn more about the region's geology. You can actually go on field trips with knowledgeable people and learn to interpret the geological and paleontological evidence time's passing has left for us to discover! To participate on an adventure such as this is very high on my to do list as you can imagine - I promise to file a detailed report when I go!

In the meantime I keep my eyes open to what is beneath my feet. To date I have a very interesting collection of fossil imprints on rocks, one of which actually spells out the name of my partner! How magical is that! Most of my forays have been to Hoxcie Gorge near Cortland on Route 38 just underneath the Hoxcie Gorge Bridge of Highway 81.

Hoxcie Gorge is a lovely place to visit in any season. There are a few enchanting homes along the creek as it meanders through the gorge. The road leading into it is rather narrow, barely able to accommodate two way traffic and it comes to an end rather abruptly. It is near that end that I have made most of my fossil finds, the creek bed is littered with them wherever you look!

The photo accompanying this blog entry was taken at the end of last winter, in April 2008. In fact snow had long since departed from the region, only in this gorge there were a few remnants visible much to my surprised delight! There was a delicate mist giving the gorge a very mysterious aura, smoke billowing from blazing hearth fires warming the lucky inhabitants of the enchanted nearby cottages, while the creek had swollen tremendously with the snow melted off the surrounding highlands. I hope my picture above is able to convey the flavor of that magical day to you!


Paulina said...

I love that picture! can't wait to hear about your geological adventures!

Ursula said...

I hope you'll come with me - I really wanted to do it this year but you know the problem - so much fun - so little time (sigh)!