It was a beautiful and unseasonably warm Sunday, so we joined together for a lovely walk in the woods. Eighteen Mile Creek is a short hike (not 18 miles!!) along a canyon rim within a half hour’s drive of the UB campus. We all enjoyed the time outdoors and the break from Sunday homework.
From left to right: Naureen, Kristin, Jess, Courtney, Leah, Hannah, Jorge, Eric, and Donglai. Leah and Donglai are touching shale concretions, which were all over in the creek and on the canyon walls.
We also noticed New Zealand mud snails in the creek — tiny (~5 mm) invasive snails that anchored themselves to the stream bed in fast-flowing areas.
The geology in the canyon walls is Wanakah Shale, which was deposited in the middle Devonian (~385 million years ago). It is full of fossils — trilobites, crinoid stems, and brachiopods — but we did not go looking for these. A local fossil hunting site, Penn Dixie, is the place to go for that!