P.E.I. sandstone

Charles Darwin’s last book bears the unusual title The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms. It was published in October of 1881 and in it Darwin focused on the myriad ways in which many of the earth’s smallest creatures can, over very long periods of time, change the face of the planet. How in the world … you must be thinking … can this have anything to do with a bicycle ride along P.E.I.’s Confederation Trail? The bedrock which forms Prince Edward Island is composed of sandstone, a highly erodible (sedimentary) rock. The Provincial government there has estimated that coastal erosion currently occurs at a rate of between 0.5 and 1.5 m per year. In contrast to the time scale upon which Darwin’s worms influence the formation of vegetable mould (what we call soil), the effects of ocean storms along the coast of P.E.I. must be visible to the careful observer. Joanna and I reached North Cape on day five of our adventure. Because the bike trail took us through the interior of the island we hadn’t seem much of the coast and so took time at trail’s end to visit the ocean and to look around a bit. What impressed us most were the beautifully sculpted red sandstone faces which lay exposed along the shore. The ground at the North Cape Wind Energy Interpretive Centre is fully 10 meters above sea level, and this leaves plenty of surface upon which the erosive force of the ocean may work. We were eager to explore. The shallow cave from within which the image below was taken may have backed 5 m into the bedrock. Leaning against its cool back wall provided a nice view of blue skies and puffy white clouds out over the Atlantic. Click the image to view a larger version with higher screen resolution.


14 thoughts on “P.E.I. sandstone

  1. FAKE! Obviously. The cave you photoshopped into the image isn’t even made out the same type of rock.

      • Whoa. It’s been written down for all to see, and I’m going to hold you to it now! You DO like traveling! Huzzah! I hope California is on your list in the next couple years 🙂

        • California … that’s over there on the ‘other’ side of the country … right? I think I saw it on a map once. Have you seen the BBC version of Persuasion? If so you’ll know the inflection Mr. Musgrove uses when daughters Henrietta and Louisa ask about traveling to the distance city of Bath (particularly appropriate here as you ask about traveling so far) … he says, “Ah, yes, Bath is a big place.” Anyway … thanks for checking in. I hope you are doing great things and enjoying life … cause, that’s what it’s all about. D

  2. What a beautiful shot David, I love the zig zag of lines which sweep the eye out towards the horizon. Beautifully composed, and it looks like a wonderful and peaceful spot 🙂

  3. David. This is gorgeous! The area looks so untouched. It could be a scene from Blue Lagoon or a backdrop to my Survivor televison shows. The color in the sky is breathtaking. A real winner.

    • I only published this post 10 minutes ago! Do you receive notifications on a Smartphone to which you reply in real time … or did this simply manage to arrive when you happen to be at your computer? Anyway … thanks for the ‘thumbs up,’ I liked this one too and kinda knew it was going to be nice the moment I clicked the shutter. Joanna was only worried that the roof of the cave was going to collapse at the very moment I walked in. D

      • LOL! I tend to check my computer fairly regularly in the evening. You never know when someone will be interested in one of my Craig’s List offerings! 🙂

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