Friday, October 21, 2016

On To Nova Scotia: Joggins Fossil Cliffs

We got into Canada on October 1st, crossing from Calais to St. Stephen without difficulty. The only stop of note on the drive through Maine was at LL Bean. We were no more impressed in 2016 than in 1970. I guess Bean's must be a regional thing. (We've been REI members since 1971.) After doing the wash (no laundromat in Calais!) and getting a sim card in St. Stephen, we then breezed through New Brunswick, having been there several days in 1970, as far as Moncton and the Tidal Bore (or "total bore" as we called it then). We arrived in Amherst, Nova Scotia, at 5:30PM, stopping at the visitor center and then camping au savage in town. Next morning we were up bright and early for a visit to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, the first of several World Heritage Sites we saw in Nova Scotia.
Joggins Fossil Cliffs visitor center; the cliffs, washed and eroded
by the tides of the Bay of Fundy, expose layers of 310 million year
old Carboniferous flora and fauna; Charles Lyell, the father of
geology, exponent of uniformatarianism, and a major influence on
Darwin, visited in 1842, and pronounced Joggins the finest example
of the fossil record hitherto known; the cliffs figured prominently
in the debate that followed publication of Origin of Species
I saw the Bay of Fundy first in 1970, and from that time have
been fascinated by these big tides, whether at Glacier Bay,
New Zealand, Normandy or Bristol Channel; none is as large
as Fundy; October 1st's high tide was 38+ feet

Looking out toward the Bay

A smidgen of the cliffs; on the Bay

Looking the other way

Tree fossil

We got onto the 11AM tour, which was superb; here the guide
shows a fossil trail plowed by a giant millipede

These puppies were 6 feet long!

Coal; carboniferous, right? Mines in the area followed the
coal veins even under the Bay

Great guide

Another tree bit

Hollowed out by a tree trunk now gone

Another bit of tree trunk


Smaller fossils in the rock

Standing on the beach, below the cliffs, I kept a close eye on
the advancing tide...

Fossils left behind by previous visitors

In the visitor center, amusing Canadian humor

Carboniferous swamp menu

Coprolitic output

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