By Misty Crags
Stony Mountain Quarries, October 16th
In normal daylight, the old west pit at Stony Mountain is really not all that much to look at: just another post-industrial landscape. Sure, for the paleontologist or rock-hound it might be a wonderland full of slightly hidden treasures, but for the average visitor it is just another hole in the ground. Add dense fog and autumnal morning light, however, and it becomes something quite different. Instead of a worked-out quarry, one sees an idealized romantic landscape, a place of rocky crags with slopes of broken scree and pools of dark water, a place where wizened trees loom out of the mist.
Our eyes adjust slowly as we make our way down from the Jeep, treading carefully on the moist rocks and watching our step in the dim light. Which way is the deepest part of the quarry? Why does the knoll look so different? And . . . what is that moving across the distant slope? Surely it is a hound, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. No . . . wait a minute . . . it is just a collie out for its morning walk with a raincoat-clad owner . . . Oh well, that is probably for the best. Still, this morning this is a place where the great Grimpen Mire cannot be at all far away.
Enough of these notions. Time to crawl around and look at some fossils.
© Graham Young, 2012
If you would like to know more about the geology of Stony Mountain, information can be found in:
YOUNG, G.A., R.J. ELIAS, S. WONG, AND E.P. DOBRZANSKI. 2008. Upper Ordovician Rocks and Fossils in Southern Manitoba. Canadian Paleontology Conference, Field Trip Guidebook No. 13, CPC-2008 Winnipeg, The Manitoba Museum, 19-21 September 2008, 97 p.