hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Way Back in Time

Here are the cliffs of Lily Point which are just an everyday part of our life here in Point Roberts.  Nevertheless, they are important geological artifacts which tell long and complex stories about the ice age and what happened when the glaciers receded, thousands and  thousands of years ago.   Those of us who showed up at the Community Center on Friday night last got to learn something about our home when we were offered a lecture with slides about what Lily Point means to people in the geological  line of work.

Organized by the Friends of the Library, the evening drew about 50-60 people and everyone, as far as I could tell, seemed to have an excellent time.  Now, I have to admit that my science background is minimal, even for someone with a M.A. in the humanities.  I remember in that long ago college education a zoology class and a class in the philosophy of science.  There might also have been a physics course, but there definitely was not a geology class.  So, for me, the lecture was way over my head, in large part because I didn't speak the basic vocabulary of geology.  But others clearly did and it was pleasant enough listening to their questions.

The basic story seemed to be that when the glaciers were here (coming down from the north), Point Roberts was largely under water because of the weight of the glacier upon it.  However, when the glaciers retreated/melted, the glaciers left all the junk they were carrying with them on top of Point Roberts and then our peninsula was no longer pushed down under water and much of what we have now is what the glaciers left us.  There was also considerable talk about earthquakes, tsunamis, and liquefaction.  And VERY strong advice about not walking around the edges of the cliffs at Lily Point because they are subject to splitting off at any moment, and they fall down easily, over and over again.  In the middle of P.R., where I live, liquefaction is not a factor.  I'm not sure why not, but I was happy to hear that was the case.

I think this was one of the few occasions where we have had a formal lecture here.  Like a memento of long ago Chautauquas, when we got summertime culture and education.  Thanks, Rose.  And thanks to Heidi for the photo from the Saturday Morning LIly Point Walk.

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