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Posts tagged “limestone quarry

Sands of Time

photo of layers of limestone and sandstone
photo of layers of limestone and sandstone

Sands of Time

What primordial wash left these deposits of colored sand between layers of limestone? How many times did the landscape change to create these layers? How much time does this represent?

This highwall is a man-made cut along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Twp., PA, a former rail line from Pittsburgh to Weirton, WV and connecting to points north and west. A section at the trail head runs through the McShane Quarry of Collier Stone, providing Collier Gray limestone and other products around southwestern Pennsylvania.

The portion of the quarry around the trail is no longer mined, but several quarry ponds still provide interest and habitat, and in the woods huge quarried and natural boulders left behind are covered with lichen and moss. And like most limestone and sandstone formations, there’s a natural cave to explore. Farther along the trail is another limestone feature, the Fossil Cliffs where millennia of flora and fauna remain in this ghostly form.


How Did They Get It There?

American flag reflected in pond
American flag reflected in pond

American Flag Reflects

A fairly large flag hangs on the highwall of the old limestone quarry, above the quarry pond, along the Panhandle Trail in Walker’s Mill, near Pittsburgh, PA. Today the event was “Rock the Quarry XII”, an annual two-day community event that also raises funds for the trail development and maintenance. The trail runs along an abandoned railway line and through the older part of a limestone quarry (part of it is still quite active), and the festival has music and food vendors and games for visitors.

 


Fossil: 2011

photograph of fossil

Fossil

Just a pattern in the rock, or a fossil?

We visited Fossils Cliff in Collier Township, the limestone layers in the valley the ideal for finding impressions of archaic living beings between the layers. Sometimes the patterns were clearly just a pattern of the layers settling against each other, but other patterns clearly looked organic. This, to me, looks like a spine and perhaps even ribs. It’s about 12″ long and on the underside of an outcrop, impossible to take away.

I came home with a pocket full of smaller possibilities.

Now there’s a place I’d like to be on a 97 degree day—under a limestone outcropping in the woods looking for fossils! I’ve meant to go back, I think it might be time.


Sands of Time: 2011

photo of layers of limestone and sandstone

Sands of Time

What primordial wash left these deposits of colored sand between layers of limestone? How many times did the landscape change to create these layers? How much time does this represent?

This highwall is a man-made cut along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Twp., PA, a former rail line from Pittsburgh to Weirton, WV and connecting to points north and west. A section at the trail head runs through the McShane Quarry of Collier Stone, providing Collier Gray limestone and other products around southwestern Pennsylvania.

The portion of the quarry around the trail is no longer mined, but several quarry ponds still provide interest and habitat, and in the woods huge quarried and natural boulders left behind are covered with lichen and moss. And like most limestone and sandstone formations, there’s a natural cave to explore. Farther along the trail is another limestone feature, the Fossil Cliffs where millennia of flora and fauna remain in this ghostly form.


Fossil

photograph of fossil

Fossil

Just a pattern in the rock, or a fossil?

We visited Fossils Cliff in Collier Township on Sunday, the limestone layers in the valley the ideal for finding impressions of archaic living beings between the layers. Sometimes the patterns were clearly just a pattern of the layers settling against each other, but other patterns clearly looked organic. This, to me, looks like a spine and perhaps even ribs. It’s about 12″ long and on the underside of an outcrop, impossible to take away.

I came home with a pocket full of smaller possibilities.

Below is a photo of the cliff with my niece and her children and Bingo the dog at the bottom, to give a sense of scale. It is easily three times wider than this, and between visitors and natural rock activity pieces of limestone are constantly falling. The fossil above is right about the center of this photo, on the shadowed outcrop right above the top of the loose limestone. We could only step around on this loose limestone, no climbing for us!

photo of fossils cliff

Fossils Cliff


Sands of Time

photo of layers of limestone and sandstone

Sands of Time

What primordial wash left these deposits of colored sand between layers of limestone? How many times did the landscape change to create these layers? How much time does this represent?

This highwall is a man-made cut along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Twp., PA, a former rail line from Pittsburgh to Weirton, WV and connecting to points north and west. A section at the trail head runs through the McShane Quarry of Collier Stone, providing Collier Gray limestone and other products around southwestern Pennsylvania.

The portion of the quarry around the trail is no longer mined, but several quarry ponds still provide interest and habitat, and in the woods huge quarried and natural boulders left behind are covered with lichen and moss. And like most limestone and sandstone formations, there’s a natural cave to explore. Farther along the trail is another limestone feature, the Fossil Cliffs where millennia of flora and fauna remain in this ghostly form.