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THROUGH MY LENS: Reading ancient history

When I was young I loved finding fossils. Small stones had been used to mulch around the front shrubs of the house where I grew up, and I would spend hours, armed with a bowl or glass jar, turning over the rocks, collecting one fossilized creature after another. I felt like an archaeologist (Indiana Jones, maybe?) discovering the past right in my front yard.

Now I have my own bed of stones to sort through. Last year I put in a path of smooth, round river stones over a stretch of muddy yard. I decided rocks would be a better surface to traverse than stepping through mud all the time and tearing up the ground. This spring I finished adding pavers to the path, to make it more walkable.

I had about fifteen to lay down in their rocky bed on a rather chilly, windy day. As I clawed back layer after layer of the small stones, I remembered my childhood fascination. Every now and then a wormy, skeletal impression in one of the rocks caught my eye. As if the beautiful colors and striations of the stones weren’t enough, the opportunity to catch a glimpse of ancient life they offered made my work a lot more fascinating and enjoyable.

Now I go out sometimes, bowl in hand, and turn over the stones. I’m happy to find there are still fossils to discover, the uncharted territory of my own front yard once again.

Categories: Art and Culture Gardening Inspirational Nature Photography Rural Life Writing

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Jacqlyn Thorne

I've never really liked labels: I am this, I am that... But in the interest of introducing myself to the world, I can say that I am many things: nurse, writer, photographer, poet, painter, gardener, friend, armchair philosopher, counselor, nature lover, real-estate aficionado, movie buff, sometime yogi, and aspiring world-traveler. I think that's a pretty good list... for now. I want to become a bigger part of the vital, creative force I feel deeply at work in the world and connect with other people who want to do the same.

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