Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Local News

Essex Land Trust Leads Trek though Canfield Woods Preserve


Geologist Bob Wintsch will lead a Saturday, Dec. 4 in Essex. Photo courtesy of Jim Denham

Geologist Bob Wintsch will lead a Saturday, Dec. 4 in Essex. (Photo courtesy of Jim Denham)

Geologist Bob Wintsch will lead a 1½- to 2-hour hike in Essex’s Canfield-Meadow Woods Preserve starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. Although most rocks on Book Hill are a pale gray and do not look exciting, they are very interesting to a geologist. Originally formed about 600 million years ago near Africa, the rocks were brought to North America (and to Essex) from offshore Africa more than 300 million years ago. Hikers will identify ancient fractures filled with granite and learn when and why the granite came to be there and learn that the gray color is made up of a mixture of black minerals and gray and white minerals that make the rock look gray from a distance. Participants will spend some time discussing how the last glacier modified the landscape and shaped the rocks now exposed. Finally, hikers will discuss how the locally famous Honey Hill fault (under Gillette’s Castle) is part of the fascinating history of the crust.

Wintsch taught geology at Indiana University for 43 years but conducted much of his research in the New England Appalachians and especially in Connecticut. Now after retiring, he is affiliated with Wesleyan University and the Geological Survey of Connecticut and continues his research in the bedrock geology of Connecticut.

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