Saturday, February 16, 2013
|A glacial erratic at Independence Oaks County Park in Oakland County, Michigan|
photo by Jonathan Schechter Feb/2013
You might call them landscape boulders. But the proper name of these beautiful,
often multi-colored boulders of ancient rock ripped from the Canadian Shield and
carried south by the last great glacier some 11,000 years ago is glacial erratic.
Definition of glacial erratic: A glacial erratic is a boulder transported and deposited
by a glacier having a lithology different than the bedrock upon which it is sitting.
I look at one particular glacial erratic as a friend, a very old friend. It is found along
the Lakeshore Trail of Independence Oaks County Park in Oakland County, Michigan
just six miles from my house. I always stop to admire the boulder when hiking or
cross country skiing the trail. And this slab of glacial history and geology serves as
a reminder of the ability of nature to adapt to harsh environments; for even
in winter one can see primitive lichens and mosses that have establish a foothold.