A fossil in time
|Category: Wendy's Wanderings||02 May 2013|
A fossil in time
Walking in the countryside, don’t you just love it the lambs, calf’s, bluebells, birds singing introducing us to Spring and later a Summer of hope. David and I were enjoying our Sunday jaunt pre local pub when I noticed out of the corner of my eye the raised ridges of a shell etched into a stone beneath my foot, partially exposed on a farmers’ lane.
By gently probing with a stick I was able to lift the bivalve from the mud.....David with one of those expressions on his face that said ‘What has she found now.....and I suppose she will want me to help wash it....’ which he did!!!! Excitment mounting when I realised it was indeed a fossil and that it must have been old.......very old.
I have found many fossils just digging in our garden, small bivalves and ammonite’s, I am fascinated that these remains through rapid burial by water-borne sediments followed by chemical alteration become part of the earths’ crust. I am 50 this year and feel it, but hey what I hold in my hand is about 500millions years old and I am quite likely to be the only human ever to put my hand on it......that blows me away. Compared to the earths’ lifespan of 4600million years old I guess that is relatively young! It waited all that time to work its way to the surface .....leading me to wonder how life must have been in its day.....one thing is for sure it lived in the sea, which as I am 40 kilometres inland takes some getting my head around....how does that work?
I wish Geography was more interesting at school, by relating facts to what we see of the landscape, as apposed to learning about oxbow lakes and the capitals of Sweden and Norway I may have found it more interesting and remembered things that I see now, and want to understand. A fossil hunter’s book from Amazon is in the offing!
I recently read a book about the life of Mary Anning who searched for fossils in the early 1800s. In a time when women were supposed to sit, sew, faint and rest she had a tricky time being taken seriously by the male dominated century that she lived in and at a time when Darwin’s thoughts were seen as sacrilege by some. A museum in Lyme Regis where she lived is devoted to her memory and findings.....I think a visit to learn more is a must.
I had forgotten my fossil was still in my handbag when in our local pub I mentioned it to Steve, a local. He lives opposite, so the conversation went down the road of ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!’ We discussed the possible ages of them and how the earth must have been in their time. If at an age where I feel like a fossil I can continue to enjoy bar conversations around geology and geography as apposed to the usual female topics then I am happy! The Amazon fossil book is now in place and geology has become the topic of the month!