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Monday, January 24, 2022

South of the Equator - Day 55

  Did you know that Ohio is south of the Equator? Here's proof. Today we reached the southernmost point of the North Country Trail at Dead Man Hollow Road on Upper Twin Creek. It was balmy! Check out the white sand beach. We were overdressed. hikers with snow and palm trees

Seemed odd since we started in the Shawnee Wilderness with snow on the ground! Shawnee Wilderness Trail

Look who hiked with us again- Nikki! hiker

When we entered Shawnee State Forest, we joined the backpacker trail which is almost all on a high ridge that winds through the park (and up and down- about 3000 total feet of elevation gain and ditto down). Some really steep slopes. I'm calling it training for western NY. ridge trail

Possibly the best thing about today was not on the trail. But we might find some another day now that we know what to look for. Look at this odd cliff of shale with the orange balls in it. Ohio Shale Concretions

This is an Ohio Shale cliff. The orange balls are called concretions, and they are a sort of limestone or dolomite "crystal" (using the word loosely) that formed when the shale was laid down in Devonian times and Ohio was south of the Equator (ha! You thought I was kidding.) Guess what is at the center of the balls? An Arthrodire- a primitive shark! There are various theories as to why these balls formed, but no one really knows. Nikki asked a friend from the Nature Conservancy, and he sent us a great article about them.

Apparently there are thousands of these balls scattered along a line that runs from about where we are all the way up to Lake Erie. Lots of them have weathered out of the soft shale and are often seen as lawn ornaments. We are going to start looking! They can be anywhere from a few inches to 9 feet across!

So there you have it- my sharkey cousins are captured in the center of orange balls in Ohio, south of the Equator! And you thought fiction was strange.

Miles today 13.2 hard ones. Total miles so far: 777.8

See Moon Hollow and Sunshine Ridge


Beyond my garden said...

Loved this post. Im not far away. Ill need to plan a day trip to seek out these short balls.

Ann said...

Well that is really interesting. I've never heard of these before.

Sue Teeters said...

Chalk full of such interesting history and information, are your excellent posts. Thank you, Joan!!!

The Oceanside Animals said...

Charlee: "So, uh, so what happens when those ball thingies get wet and the sharks pop back out again?"
Chaplin: "SHARKNADO!!!"

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