Can’t Leave That Shale Alone
July 28, 2012
Tuesday I went with an artist friend to my usual haunt on the Vermilion River, but then we walked quite a way upriver in the water, which was very low. It’s just amazing how the look of the shale changes from spot to spot. I’m going to have to do some research about it. Some is very hard; the water sculpts ridges in it over time, but it does not flake. Some is very flakey and crumbles when you walk on it. And much is of variable sturdiness in between. The color changes, too, but most is some kind of bluish grey. Yum. We had rain last night and this morning, but I don’t think it will be enough to prevent my walking across the river tomorrow. I can hardly wait. . . . The first photo here is about how a leaf bled its color into the silt covering a large broken-off piece of shale. I don’t know how much of the leaf is left on the rock. You can see how the cracks in the shale extend into the image of the leaf; I don’t think the leaf would crack like that. Maybe it’s all print and no leaf. . . . In the second photo the cracked-up bits are dried silt. Some of the bits are covered with algae and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae, which is not algae at all). . . . The orange stuff you see in several of the photos is iron oxide deposited by the iron bacteria. . . . That’s river water at the top of the eighth photograph.