January 18, 2016

Fossil Hunters

If someone was to mention "fossils", one of the first things that you would immediately relate to might be 'dinosaurs'? For me, I think along the lines of dinosaur bones, in particular, some dinosaur rib cage indent in the rocks, or maybe a group of trillibites.

But sometimes fossils can be more... Lowkey. I learned that when Ian took me to Gardner Creek to search for fossils.

"So I'll see some dinosaur fossils here!?" I said, as we walked down the rocky beach.
"No, dinosaurs didn't live here." Ian replied.
"What about those bugs in shell thingys?"
"Not here."
"So then what fossils?"
"Plant fossils."
"Oh! Like those really big Venus fly trap plants!?"
"... No."

We walked for a few miles, turning over rocks and examining cliff walls. Eventually we saw some red colored indents in a few flat rocks.

"Now that's a fossil!" Ian said.
"What?" I asked, I wasn't sure what I was looking at.
"See this rectangular indent here? This was part of a tree branch from millions of years ago."
"This is incredible! Are you kidding! We are holding something from millions of years ago, it's neat!" Ian said.
I looked at the rock like how my dog would look if I was to give him a salad spinner.
"Cool, you can have it back now." I said, "so where can I see dino-"
"There are no dinosaurs here for the last time!"
"Okay... well can you at least take some photos of me laying on the rocks or something..."

We walked for a few more miles, turning over rocks and examining tree branch and partial leaf fossils. Eventually the novelty of looking at decayed plant bits wore off for me. "Oh here's another one!" Ian said, to every branch indent he came across. I grew to think of him that moment as the middle school science teacher trying get teenagers excited about the difference of entropy and enthalpy. But I was unwilling to participate as a role of an eager student.

The weather was warm, the tide was low, for once there was little to no wind in windy New Brunswick. It would have been nice, to see some dinosaur fossils, but we had a good afternoon overall. Brontosaurus or no Brontosaurus- you know what, Brontosaurus wasn't real anyway.