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  • Terry Wigmore

Old Fossils

August 27, 2018

My family went camping a few weeks ago at a provincial park on the shores of Lake Ontario. It rained 2 out of the 4 days we were away. Still, it was an adventure and I learned a few new things along the way.

I learned that , once again, preparation for every contingency is important to the overall enjoyment of the adventure. In this case, tarps became important - a huge tarp to be specific. The weather forecast after our first night in the sudden downpour suggested we might be in for another round of torrential rains. Although we escaped relatively well, with none of the tents leaking and everyone remaining mostly dry, the site was quite wet, especially where we did our meal preps, cooking, and where our picnic table was located. The solution was a large tarp which we managed to tie over most of the campsite, sloping to one end to allow for runoff, it kept us dry when the rains did come around. This time our morning after was a lot drier which meant that we were a lot happier.

What has all this talk of large tarps got to do with Old Fossils? Well, first of all this"old fossil" had to climb a few trees to get the rope lines elevated enough over the site. I'm of retirement age and though I loved climbing trees as a kid, and still climbed trees with my own kids, it has been a few years.

Necessity is the inspiration needed for most feats of daring, and the approaching storm was enough motivation for me to risk climbing a few trees. By climbing, I mean shimmying up the trunk where the lower branches were non-existent, until I could reach a higher branch and pull myself up and eventually gain a foothold and some stability so that I could wrap the rope around the tree and toss the line down. I learned older relics (dinosaurs), such as myself, can still climb trees and accomplish some surprising things ;)

My second point is that my family and our friends did enjoy some fossil hunting on the shores of Lake Ontario. There was a lot of rock that contained Ordovician fossils - ancient sea creatures, tubular and spiral in shape, and shells of of all sorts. It was a fun morning after the rains, to wander along the shoreline and examine the rocks, searching for patterns and colouring that indicated a fossil find. I rediscovered the fun of fossil hunting, and my entire family was wrapped up in the joy of the unexpected discoveries. Were were "in the moment" - our own moment, and the moment the fossils were formed. 450million years converged that morning and we were enriched by the encounters with "old fossils." :)


The pebbled shore of Lake Ontario at Pres'Quile Prov. Park
Our Ordovician fossils

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