May 1st, 2005


amphibious recollections

The first of May, again. Already. At last. And so forth.

We decided to wait about doing the author's photo thing for To Charles Fort, With Love until some day this coming week. After last week's flurry of words, I just wasn't up to posing under a fish-covered umbrella while squeezing a sheep's heart. So, we're not doing that today. I'm not sure what we'll do instead. Not sit around the house. It's too fine a day out there, even if there is a slight chill when the wind blows.

Our street is awash with flowers. The trees are green again.

And I've remembered that I was going to post more of the photos we took in Leeds. The following four (behind the cut) seem appropropriate to the day. On maps, this stream is called the Little Cahaba River, and it does flow into the Cahaba River proper, but I've always thought "river" was a little overly ambitious word for it (though it can flood impressively). I spent a lot of time here when I was a kid. Where it winds through this little park, I used to wade and look through the rocks and weeds, catching whatever I could. I was after snakes, usually, especially during the years when I briefly switched from wanting to be a paleontologist to wanting to be a herpetologist (I switched back in 8th grade and never wavered thereafter). Mostly, though, I caught crayfish (crawdads, crawfish, whatever — my mother recently chided me for calling them "crayfish" instead of "crawdads"), small turtles, minnows, brim, and various sorts of salamanders. This would have been twenty nine, twenty eight, thirty years ago, now, and the place seems to have changed hardly at all. I doubt it's changed much since my mother was a child. At the southwest corner of the park, the Little Cahaba passes beneath a railroad trestle. We used to sit up there and toss the gravel used as ballast into the creek. On hot days, the air smelled of creosote from the crossties. It was one of those places my mother tried to make me stay away from, mostly beacuse she didn't want me catching snakes. Anyway, here are the photos:

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The creek winds all the way through town. The gray limestone exposed in the park and used to build the walls that line the creek in the park in the Ordovician-aged Chickamauga Limestone Formation, the same rock formation exposed at the mouth of the water-works tunnel on Red Mountain and used to build the blockhouse at the tunnel's entrance. Occasionally, I'd find a few fossils on the boulders in the park — mostly brachiopods and bryozoans — but the stone is very hard, so I never removed them. Many of them are likely still there.

And speaking of eBay, we're now offering Silk for only $10. I'm not sure how long we'll be selling the book at this price, but it won't be very long. Buy one and get a FULL COLOUR (!!!!) monster doodle. And a book.
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