15 million-year-old scallop – Calvert Cliffs, MD

The Calvert Cliffs, along the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland, can be seen on John Smith’s 1612 map, a mere spit ago in the expanse of the eons.  The story here starts far deeper in the past, 15 million years back,  in the Miocene epoch.  At this time, North and South America were one, and a shallow sea covered this region………………

By chance, the eroded earth here is slowly exposing millions of the creatures that once inhabited this sea.  The eons-old ocean floor is now part of a state park and is accessed by a two-mile hike through forest and marsh.   The cliffs are encrusted with fossils.  They are familiar shapes – scallops, shark’s teeth, crab shells, coral…    They are so mundane that it’s difficult to accept that they are so old.  On my visit, I was initially disappointed by this familiarity-  these are everywhere.  we eat these.   I was hoping for bizarro prehistoric monsters.

You are allowed to take fossils from the beach.  I took an over-sized scallop shell with some barnacles on it.  It now sits in my room.    It looks like nothing.

I dropped it once while moving.  I imagined it shattering and thought:  this thing has passed 15 million years unscathed, and my careless ass just wrecked it in a single motion.    In the end it IS just a seashell.  But millions of years are hard to deny.


About ventilateblog

http://www.createdbymattlogan.com/ MUSIC Classically trained cellist. Attended Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University - degree in Music Composition, and three years of recording arts and audio electrical engineering. Multiple works for chamber groups and orchestra have been produced and performed. Singer-songwriter with rock and folk roots.. Electronica. Today, it's about mashing together all these things into improbable hybrids. Also, a longtime educator of music. PHOTOGRAPHY Unpredictable and in the moment is what I love. Streets, architecture, and people. Ruined places. History. Frozen moments. Great love for imagines wrought by beautiful mystery of film and vintage cheapy cameras. WRITING The vague, ephemeral. The historical - the ghosts behind the veil of time. Delving deeply into the intricacies of our physical and cultural world. Relaying memory and longing. And sometimes the absurd. Life runs deep. Life

Posted on August 30, 2011, in Misc., travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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