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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Forming McCormick's Creek

Thursday, July 22, 2010

As a kid, and even as an adult, I can remember times where I noticed a unique rock laying out in the yard or driveway that made me wonder.

Often times, I would wonder what type of rock it was, how it was formed and how it got to that specific location.

Similar to the way that the individual rocks, which caught my eye were formed, so was the landscape around McCormick's Creek State Park.

The canyon at McCormick's Creek State Park is a mile long and more than 100-feet deep.

It was formed by soft sediment that was compressed and cemented into layers of solid limestone that were eventually carved away by the Illinoian glacier.

These layers include Salem Limestone, St. Louis Limestone and Ste. Genevieve Limestone.

The oldest and deepest layer is the Salem Limestone.

It can be seen in the old quarry near the mouth of the canyon and in the lower canyon walls.

It is characterized as uniformly sandy in texture and weathers into huge rounded blocks that might have a pitted effect known as honeycomb weathering.

On top of the Salem Limestone, you will find St. Louis Limestone.

The St. Louis Limestone is about 60-feet thick and makes up most of the canyon walls.

Compared to the Salem Limestone, the St. Louis Limestone is more finely grained and is more closely cemented.

The final layer is the Ste. Genevieve Limestone.

The upper parts of the canyon walls are made up of this limestone formation. This group is even more finely grained, smoother in texture and the most compact. It is the youngest bedrock found in the park.

These three bedrock formations together represent about a million years of geologic history and is just a small fraction of the many wondrous things found around Indiana.

If you are interested in learning more about the wonders that surround you, then consider signing up for the Indiana Master Naturalist Course that will be offered through Purdue Extension in Clay and Owen counties.

This program involves an eight-week course that covers topics such as botany, geology, water and wildlife.

Most of the sessions will take place on a Saturday morning, from 9 a.m.-noon, at McCormick's Creek State Park.

The program starts Aug. 16, in Spencer, at the Purdue Extension Office.

Speakers for this course include individuals from the Owen Putnam State Forest, McCormick's Creek State Park, the District Fisheries Biologist and several others.

The cost to be involved with this wonderful program is $55 and goes toward all class materials and speakers.

Contact the extension office today if you want to be a part of this class.

You can register for this class by contacting your local extension office at 448-9041 in Clay County and 812-829-5020 in Owen County.

Remember that space is limited in this class to the first 15 that signup.

You must register by Aug. 6.

Taking time out of your busy schedule to appreciate the world around us can be a very exciting activity.

It allows you to increase your knowledge of the world and also appreciate how unique Indiana, our country, the world, and Earth really are.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* July 24 -- Butterfly Festival, McCormick's Creek State Park,

* Aug. 3 -- Calf Health Program, Southern Hills Church in Salem, 6:30 p.m. Pre-register by calling 812-883-4601,

* Aug. 6-22 -- Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis,

* Aug. 14 -- 10th Wild About Wildlife, McCormick's Creek State Park, and

* Aug. 16 -- Master Naturalist Course. Eight-week course on Monday nights from 6-8 p.m., in Spencer. Cost is $55.

Please contact 812-829-5020 to register by Aug. 6.

Space is limited.