Emeralds and fossils

Mount Burgess rises high over Emerald Lake. The Burgess Shale is somewhere along the ridge on the left – well worth taking the guided hike to visit!

Emerald Lake is one of those tourist hotspots in the Rockies. Getting a space in the parking lot is the first challenge. Trying not to trip over hordes of shambling tourists is the next. Then there’s getting a photograph that’s not full of said tourists. I was fortunate enough to find a spot where no one was in front of me at a time when there were no canoeists to disturb the lake to get this classic view of Mt Burgess rising up over the lake.

It’s hard to believe that the world-famous (at least to biologists and other fans of the natural world) Burgess Shale fossil beds are so close. We’d been on a guided hike offered by Parks Canada just a few days earlier that visited the quarry where Charles Walcott discovered the strange fossils. I don’t have many bucket-list items, but that was definitely one of them! I really enjoyed the day, and I could have spent hours sifting through the rocks looking for fossils. It made me realize just how much effort it took to find and excavate fossils!


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