Tapestry Stone

September 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Province, I’m in love with this stone which houses fossils and is infinitely varied. It is fascinating to think that these chunks of rock are the remains of an ocean and its inhabitants, long gone but still present.

Natural chemical alterations give it its unique lacy look. It comes in two colors, a light buff mixed with brown, and (my favorite) a pale gray with darker gray mottles. Some folks call it tapestry stone, and they prize, especially, its random fossils: gastropods, brachiopods, trilobites, corals and snails. As the flesh of these once-living creatures decayed, a limey mud filled the casings and hardened to rock. My father has had only limited schooling, but he’s blessed with a naturalists’s curiosity and not long ago he hacked out a few of the more interesting fossil pieces and carried them home to show to his wife, Mercy. (The stone with which she weighted her Malvern pudding on the day of my birth contained three fused fossils of an extremely rare type, so rare that they have never to this day been properly classified.)

– excerpt from The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

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