Monday, March 16, 2009

My Town Monday - Blowing Our Own Horn

My Town is known for it's trains and the horns they blow around town (they are forbidden to blow them in town). But there is another type of horn that tells a story about my town, but from millions of years ago. While walking along the creek that traverses our property, we often find Grewingkia canadensis Horn Coral with other fossils in the water, exposed by erosion of the creek. (When first we moved here, it was but a trickle. Recent neighborhood development has caused more water runoff and the creek has become both wider and deeper, eating away at the soil and exposing more rock.)

Once, my town was not rolling green hills and beautiful trees. Once, long ago, the place I inhabit was a warm, tropical sea. I like to imagine that: coral reefs, ancient marine animals and fishes. (I also picture myself on my deck, pina colada in my hand, soaking up the rays ocean side, but then some ancient monster fish would probably leap from the waters and devour me.) We also find shells, fossilized wood, and other types of coral.

Though a drive from where I live, there is a place that is unlike any other place on this Earth: The Falls of the Ohio. There, along the Ohio River in Indiana, is the largest exposed Devonian fossil bed in the world. After touring their museum, visitors can walk out onto the fossil beds alone or with a park guide who will point out fossils in the rocks. The river level rises and falls during the year, so it is best to visit when the river level is lower. If you are driving through or visiting Kentucky, it is well worth a stop.

I enjoy taking my kids there, and it is time to take William again. Kids love climbing up and down the exposed rock and on a nice day, having a picnic. Though not my seaside daydream, it still makes for a beautiful afternoon.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I would so love to see this. I'm going to find it on a map and see how far it is from Detroit. Thanks.

Sepiru Chris said...

Another place to visit whenever I get around to your neck of the woods, swamp, inland sea...

(Which the Heroine and I would love to do at some point in time. Not for a couple of years, though, as there are a few too many closer trips that need to be undertaken first in places that are changing.)

Barrie said...

My kids would love this. Me too!

Anonymous said...

Is this the fossil that looks like a tooth ot a minature Rhino horn? There are a lot of them to be found here in Milford, OH. in the gravel. Dad

Travis Erwin said...

Looks like me kind of place.

Junosmom said...

Patti - it is right across the river from Louisville. I'm not sure if it would be faster to come down through Indianapolis or down through Ohio. If you decide to come, would love to buy you a cup of coffee!

Chris - I would also love to meet up with you and Heroine, though of course, I will have to lock up Louise so that she doesn't give Pommes all her mischievous cat secrets.

Barrie: Come see!

Dad: Yes, they do look like fossilized rhino horns, or perhaps the tip of a cow horn. Milford was under water as well!

Travis: You can take a boat out near there also and fish. Because of dams nearby, the water is calm near the Fall's fossil bed (the actual Falls are now under water and no longer falling) and usually there are a few boats floating with a fishing pole out.

Fossil Detective said...

If you would like to see more Devonian horn corals from the Louisville, Kentucky and southern Indiana area check out the site of their geology club:

or go to this web page and click on the links in the Devonian Corals section:


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