Almost every evening lately we go down to the river. It runs along the city, and within a kilometre or so of our house, there are so many spots to walk around and explore. Among the ones with the easiest access are Remic Rapids, Deschênes Rapids, and of course my favourite, Mud Lake, which is tucked away in the woods.
As we walk, we keep our eyes open: I look for creatures, feathers, shells, flowers, patterns and light, while my husband searches the ground for other kinds of treasure. I think he is hoping to find an explorer’s compass or some dinosaur bones, but sometimes a rusted piece of mystery metal is enough to quell his curiosity. One day I asked, “Can you imagine if we kept every single filthy, slimy, dirty, rusty, decomposing thing we found here?” His reply: “Yeah, we could build a time machine.” I married this man for his non-sequiturs.
Recently we found this bizarre rock formation, just under the Champlain Bridge. It is spread over a large area of the shoreline, and it looks like the surface of the moon. As you can see, some of the circles are fairly large:
After entering every possible combination of words into Google, I found out the origin of these strange rock patterns.
“Stromatolites are the oldest known fossils in the world (about 450 million years old). The fossils were left by cyanobacteria, which were likely responsible for the creation of the earth’s oxygen. They were the dominant life form on earth for over 2 billion years. Most of the time they are hidden underwater, but they can be seen when the water levels are low.” -paraphrased/quoted from this article.
So there you have it. Sometimes beachcombing can enable time travel.