Soahn and Wendy's August Visit

Soahn and Wendy stopped in for a visit so we took a break from construction.  We took walks in the woods, visited some friends and investigated some interesting geologic features that can be seen nearby.

An interesting fungus we found in Laurel Gorge  A Datura near where the Welcome Center will be built Wild Pawpaw, not yet ripe.  We didn't try them.  We have been told that if you do you won't forget the experience. These mushrooms were less than 1/4 inch high. The twig was only slightly larger than a pencil lead.


We stopped in at Fritz and Jan's place to visit and admire their flowers

Along route 7 we have noticed these inclusions in a thick layer of shale.  We investigated them while Soahn and Wendy were here.  As you can see they are smooth, rounded and vary in size.  They seem to be layered but the layers do not correspond to those in the surrounding material.  They are composed of what seems to be limestone that is much harder than the shale.  We have been offered a number of explanations of their origins by several geologists.  The most common is that they are concretions that formed around something while the bed was being laid down though in any I have opened there is no apparent central object.  Another possibility was that they were dropstones from glacial icebergs that were melting in the sea that was above this bed.  Chert nodules were also suggested. These would be formed when the limit of concentration of quartz was exceeded in solution resulting in the quartz precipitating from it.  None of these explanations is entirely satisfying.  The lumps are horizontally bedded or show no bedding which argues against the concretion theory since they would normally have concentric layers.  There are no obvious scrapes or breaks that you would expect from rocks that were transported by a glacier.  While I am not certain the lumps are limestone I am sure that they are not chert.  To be fair the geologists didn't see these lumps for themselves so they are working at a distinct disadvantage.  Currently I consider the origin unresolved.  If you have expert opinion (or just an opinion) or would like more information send e-mail, I have more pictures or you could come to see them for yourself.

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