Friday, November 09, 2007

Old Footsteps, New Footsteps

There was almost a minus tide on Wednesday. It was a 0.3, so we headed out to take the old walk we used to take when we lived here years and years ago. It occurred to us that we never checked the tide tables when we walked back then, we just ventured out and were met by the tide of the day. We are older and perhaps wiser now, so we plan ahead. Why leave to fate what can be construed by the sun and moon? You know why we came? It was to see if the old fossil beds were visible and not covered by old storms and higher tides.
But first we found some new birds. Who could this little black and white be, we wondered. Fortunately my brother and SIL let us borrow their Sibley's for our stay, so we could ID this beauty: a Black Phoebe, sitting on a little shore rock. What a fine way to start our walk.
Then we saw what might be a Willet. A beautiful lithe and winsome bird hunting along the shore. When we looked at the photograph after we had gotten home, we saw that it was standing by another little shore bird that might be a Western Sandpiper.
Then, we took the longer view. Here is what the shoreline looks like.
Roger walked over to some rocks and called me to come and take a look.
Oh yes. There was a beautiful fossil, and one we had not seen before.

As we walked on though, we could see that there had been considerable erosion and much of the best fossil beds were under huge fallen pieces of the cliffside.

We talked about long geologic time, global climate change, earthquakes. We were wondering what cataclysmic combination it would take to bring back the fossil beds. Rising waters, thrusting plates. When will the old be new again?

Check here for a bit of info about the fossils, or Google Capitola fossil. The seawall has not been built.

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