Friday, April 27, 2018

I Went Back to the Ancients and Found Myself: The North Sulphur River

I drove to Ladonia today. It's a small town in Fannin County that was once a bustling hub of East Texas agriculture. The Golf Colorado Santa Fe Railroad once turned the town into a shipping point and its population peaked at 2000. After the Depression it never recovered and its population has continued to decrease ever since.

Lillies in Ladonia Town Square

I walked around the town taking pictures and I was haunted by ghosts of a much simpler time. The old building architecture and the quaint charm of the remnants made me feel like I had walked back in time. I enjoyed the quiet.

Aging Structures in Ladonia

North of town is the Fossil park which is why I made the trip. I have been there before with family but never alone. It's very remote and except for two other distant figures, I felt completely alone and it was wonderful.

There were bank swallows swarming the bridge as I walked down the dinosaur sized steps to the river bottom. There are small schools of fish running through the shallow river and the sound of rippling water.

I enjoyed the sound of buzzing swallows and the quiet of nature. I remember my older son and I found shark teeth there years ago. There are several bridges and areas to access the river and each have their own diversity of fossils.

In this part of the river there were many belemites, ancient straight shelled squid and all sorts of shell impressions in the shale sediment. I felt like a child again, there is something beautiful and exciting about getting back to the hobbies you loved as a child. I have always been a rock hound, I even thought of being a geologist at one time.

I was wishing I had a 500mm lens because I could see the swallows gathering mud and they were just out of range of my 300 mm lens. Just as I got to a reasonable distance they would quickly disperse and I wasn't able to get any good photos.

The sky above the river was a deep intense blue complementing the rich green spring foliage. As I dug through the piles of rock and mud, I had an awareness of the heat. When you are on the river bed there is no protection from the sun and I knew I had to walk up the dinosaur stairs.

What was completely wonderful about the day was the peace and calm. I enjoyed the feeling of being amidst ancient stones surrounded by birdsong and river sounds. It was a great place to find myself and collecting a few fossils was a bonus for the exploration.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Artistgordon - Find me on