With the power plant behind us, I retrace my steps in the sand along Goose Island. At the moment, there is shade. Once we venture back onto the fossil beds we may get momentary cover from a passing cloud. I stopped along the sand bank and made one more Styrofoam figure from materials found along the way. He’s a simple guy with one very apparent attribute. He has a bright yellow belly button.
He’s made from found Styrofoam, sticks, various plastics, bark, and nuts. I decide to take him with me and work him into other images. I briefly watched a cormorant swimming near my position. One moment his head was up in the air and then the next he was in underwater pursuit of some fish. Continuing my walk, I’m heading towards the fossil beds and the remains of a 19thcentury dike. I like some of the views of the skyline of Louisville from here. With the water being so low, the exposed rocks create an other worldly sight. Walking on the rocks it’s easy to imagine you are walking on an alien and ancient surface because it is!
Here are two views from the Goose Island Dike. You can see how this barrier divides the fossil beds from the Prairie Grass Habitat on the right. This is where I left this figure…with his legs wedged in the crack of a broken rock. I left him for someone else to find and enjoy.
Moving down from the dike and onto to the fossil beds, I’m going to follow the river’s edge. A small and noisey flock of Killdeer plovers scatters in front of me. From here you can see how the water has sculpted this limestone into a pock marked wave. It’s not the easiest surface to walk on and it’s very slippery when wet. I have always liked this view and feel it’s worth the trek. It’s like looking at a cross section of the history of life. It’s ancient rocks represent a moment long ago when life was tropical and the water tasted salty. Now, we are at a different latitude and the environment has shifted over deep time. Fresh water now governs this landscape and we cling to it down to its very edge. The tourist in me is saying my camera’s memory card is full for today and so this marks the end of this particular trip over the fossil beds. I hope to return soon. Perhaps the early fall when the sycamore and willow tree leaves start to turn yellow and ducks are in the air.